Scott Redding passed fit to start practice in Japan

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Scott Redding has been declared fit to start practice for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix tomorrow after coming through a painful medical examination at the Twin Ring Motegi earlier.

The 20-year-old is fighting to keep his Moto2 world title hopes alive after he suffered a broken left wrist in a qualifying crash five days ago during the Australian round at Phillip Island.

Redding needed to have a plate and six screws inserted in the wrist and with main rival Pol Espargaro winning a shortened race, the Spaniard heads to the penultimate round of the season with a 16-point over the Briton.

Redding was put through a tough medical assessment at 230pm local time in Japan, but he and thousands of British fans got the news they had been hoping when he was passed fit to start tomorrow’s first free practice.

Passing today’s medical does not mean Redding will be allowed to keep his title challenge alive in Sunday’s 23-lap race, with the Gloucestershire rider subject to additional medical checks throughout the weekend.

Coming through the initial medical assessment though was a big hurdle negotiated for a relieved Redding and speaking exclusively to MCN in the Twin Ring Motegi paddock today, the Marc VDS Racing rider said: “I did everything they asked me to do but they still weren’t quite sure. In the end they had no choice because I did what they wanted me to do. They wanted me to do a full push up but I told them I don’t have the flexibility to position my hand like that and I explained to them you never put your left hand at 90 degrees on the bike.

If it was my throttle hand I would have to agree with them, but with the clutch hand you don’t have to do it. So I made some push ups against a wall and then I had to do them on a bed in a much lower position and I still managed it. I had to do a couple of grip exercises to show that I can control the bike if I have a tank-slapper and I just gritted my teeth and held on because I know I want to race. I said I’d do anything to be declared fit and I am not going to lie because it did hurt. If anybody tells you that they have a plate and six screws inserted in their wrist and it doesn’t hurt when somebody is shaking the hell out of your hand, well it really does hurt.

I had to push through that and that is nothing to what it is going to be like on the bike. I just need to mentally prepare myself knowing it is going to hurt and do the best I can. The arm has healed really well to be fair and I have tried to keep moving it, but at least tomorrow I get the chance to prove to everybody that my wrist is OK and I can be out there fighting for some points and take it to Valencia. It is a big call to say where I will finish but I will take the pain and go for what I can do.”

The fact that tomorrow’s practice and Saturday’s action is forecast to be disrupted by rain will certainly be a huge benefit to Redding. The stop and go nature of the Twin Ring Motegi makes it the worst possible track to be riding with a damaged wrist, with so many brutal braking points.

The Japanese venue is one of the most demanding on the upper body all season, but in wet conditions it will at least ease some of the stress on Redding’s injured wrist.

One concern is that by riding could cause significant tendon damage, which would put him out of action for a minimum of three months.

Not only would that end his Moto2 title challenge but it would also disrupt preparations for his 2014 MotoGP debut, with Redding due to test Honda’s new production RCV1000R machine at a three-day test in Valencia next month.

He added: “In my head I sometimes forget the wrist is broken but the only thing I am worried about is ripping or tearing a tendon on the outside of my forearm because if that happens I can’t do anything for three months. I need to pay attention to that, so the rain is going to help me a bit but it also increases the risk of crashing. But at the end of the day I am fighting for a championship. 

I just need to see what I can do this weekend. I’ll need to take the pain and push through it to get the best result I can. In my head the championship is still not over and anything can happen. I think it puts pressure on Pol knowing I am even here because I wasn’t sure I'd be coming."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt