MarcVDS’ Scott Redding put in a load of laps at a wet Valencia today in order to further understand his new factory RC213V and to give his crew more data to work with as they begin to piece together how the works Honda behaves.
Redding stuck in 42 laps with a best of 1’43.813 and suffered a small crash at the end but he said the day was useful as it provided a big insight into how the Bridgestone wets behave with more power, different electronics and the seamless-shift box.
“I wanted to have more track time in the rain to more understand the Bridgestones and the bike with the Ohlins and Brembo. It was really positive because we managed to improve the laptime throughout the day, so this is also confidence building, finding the limits more and Chris (Pike, crew chief) started to understand how this bike is working from what he thought in the beginning,” said Redding, speaking at Valencia.
“When the sun went down, I was getting faster and faster, more and more comfortable. I felt the grip was dropping but I was still getting faster and kept pushing. Then, yeah, just went down as the tyre lost temperature and I lost the front.”
Redding has noticed substantial differences with the Brembo brakes and Ohlins suspension, plus using the seamless-shift gearbox makes keeping traction much easier, even in the wet.
“There is quite a big difference because with the seamless box you can shift at an angle and you can use the torque. With the electronics a bit better, you have more feel at the bottom so it is always helping you. We still need to understand the bike. In the rain, the chassis doesn’t change too much.
“We modified another seat with bumpers and stuff. I was studying yesterday and I didn’t look right on the bike, so we changed a few things this morning which made me feel more settled. The problems I have with the bike are the tank is quite short, so when I go into a corner it feels like my weight is sliding off the bike. We need to try and make a longer and wider tank, and adjust the seat to get settled on the bike.
“I have had one dry day, one wet with the Brembo and today my feeling was coming much better with the power and control. I was skidding quite a lot but I could feel it. I was at the limit with the traction control and I could start to wind it off.
“Lifting the rear in the wet into turn one is not normal, it feels a bit sketchy but you have so much front grip. Today, the temperature was quite low, so we had a skaty feeling. The level will be higher if it is warmer.”