Scott Redding said he isn’t worried about his lowly 17th position on the final timesheets at the end of this week’s three-day MotoGP test at the Sepang track in Malaysia.
The British rider was on a fact finding mission rather than chasing fast lap times on only his second appearance on the factory Honda RC213V he will race in 2015.
Redding ended the test with a best pace of 2.01.232 that put him almost 2.4s adrift of the blistering record speed set by Marc Marquez on the final morning.
The former Moto2 world championship runner-up was still happy and satisfied with his performance having achieved his objective to learn as much as possible about the Marc VDS Racing Honda.
Redding said his riding style was completely unrecognisable from the start to the end of the test, with the 22-year-old constantly modifying his input to gradually improve his pace and confidence on the RC213V.
And speaking exclusively to MCN in his office at the Sepang circuit this evening, he said: “I am really happy. I set my fastest lap in the afternoon when the grip wasn’t so good. I did it alone and slowly we are getting there. I know Marc set a f*****g crazy lap somehow but we are getting closer to where I need to be and my target is the top six at the moment. This morning I missed that window to put in a good lap time because we had a new electronics setting to try. I didn’t have full power and I still did a 2.01.7 and then went out with a used tyre and did a 2.01.3. All we are doing is trying to find what suits me. I’ve made loads of progress. If I showed you the data from day one to the last day it is like two different riders. We have to find the limit more and check the braking style. The way I’m braking is not so aggressive and with the throttle I’m trying to turn it with the rear initially. The hardest thing for me to learn is the line going in. The apex is not where it normally is and it is a little bit strange.”
But Redding is relaxed about his position on the timesheets and believes he is still to unleash plenty more potential from himself and the bike ahead of the first race in Qatar on March 29.
He added: “I am not worried. It is my first proper test on this bike and it is completely different to what I rode last year. I am improving every day and I am learning so it sinks in. I am not just rushing out for a lap time and coming back in. I am trying to learn and understand it to have better progress. I know people will say stuff but there’s no races to be won in testing. I’ve changed my braking, throttle opening and closing and my lean angle and body position. I am really shattered because I’ve been working so hard all of the time. People don’t see that and when you want to be the best and you are trying to learn from the best it is very difficult. All these guys are super, super talented with experience.”
One of the big changes for Redding in 2015 is the power he now has available from Honda’s impressive 1000cc V4 prototype.
He rode the woefully slow production Honda RCV1000R for Fausto Gresini last season and he has been adapting his technique to cope with the big increase in horsepower.
He said: “This is the first time I’ve had a bike with power. The bike last year didn’t have power and I’m trying to ride it like that when actually it has got loads of power. It’s difficult because I want to carry corner speed but it is the worst thing you can do with this bike. I was overriding because of that and going too fast into the corner and I’d just go backwards. It is understanding not to do it and it is not like I am thinking what is going on.”