Scott Redding had one of his inspired rides in the final Catalunya race to make up for being run off track and fighting through to finish only 15th in the WorldSBK Superpole clash that morning.
After all the delays and several race starts on Sunday, Redding charged through to take a third place to add to his Saturday race one win.
“The end of the race was good - the problem was the start,” said Redding. “The first race, I got a mint start. Same with the Superpole Race. Then it got red flagged, and then I did another start and it just didn’t work. With our bike, two starts back to back is not really good. The second one is a bit harder, and it cost me in the Superpole race and it cost me now. That’s the only downside of today.”
It was high drama for Redding in what was finally a five-lap sprint. “Superpole Race? In the first part, I felt good. I was like, ‘be in for another podium or at least a top four. I’m happy with that’. The red flag, and then ‘casino’. It was like bumper cars. It was too much in the Superpole race.
“In fact, this weekend has been a bit too much. People smashing all over the place. It needs to just turn the dial back a little bit before somebody gets seriously hurt, and it will happen.”
Race two was shaping up as a rough ride, way down the order, but he got his mojo back at a good time. “The race this afternoon I said before I was pissed (off). I was like 11th. My only chance was to start on the first two rows and try and get away. I said, ‘okay. Top five, I’ll go away happy with that’.
“Got off the start, didn’t really feel good. Fighting a lot, and then kind of found my rhythm a bit. I thought, ‘OK not bad’. I felt good. Then I was trying and I just couldn’t pass Alvaro Bautista. I could not pass him. I was trying everything in the books. Setting up three corners before, slipstream early, slipstream late, brake late… Trying everything I could try, and I just had to wait for that mistake. Bang. I had to go. I wasn’t expecting that. If I stayed a bit calm, saw the mistake and I said, ‘I have to go for it now’. Then I was OK and I could go, but it was just holding me up. It was unfortunate, really, because it’s definitely second.”
Getting past Bautista earlier may have delivered more to Redding than a third place. “I don’t know the pace of Rinaldi at the end, but I did see him in the distance and I was feeling comfortable. I was feeling fast and I felt good. But, podium… happy, mate!
“When I said top five, if you can do extra over what you expect it’s always good. To come away here with two podiums - if my teammate wasn’t first, I’d be over the moon, but my teammate was first. It puts a little bit of a damper in it, but coming from 11th, starting back, coming through, he kind of had it quite easy.
“He got to the front and he was set. So, fair play to him. He rode well. Rode a good race. Rode pretty clean. I saw what he was doing. Looked good. Happy.
“The bike worked better than I expected, to be fair. I don’t know why. All weekend we’ve been a bit like juggling everything and managing on the moment. That was the situation. I don’t know why. Of course, the tyre helped, but we had nothing in the beginning. We had more grip than them in the end, but we lost a lot in the start. But you’ve got to give to get, so I’m happy with that.”
There was no realistic option for Redding except the tyre he used in the race.
“Tyre choice - no option. That’s why we had the SC0 because we couldn’t run the 557. It was not going to finish the race. So, we didn’t really have a choice. Then the red flag came and it was, do we put it? I was like, we’ve done one lap. We were adamant we couldn’t run it for 20 laps. We ain’t going to run it for 19! So, leave what we’ve got. I’m just going to have to get off and get my head down. That’s what I did.
“I just went in and a few thumps on the chest before going out! Just dig deep, just dig deep. It kind of paid off again. I just came good at the end. I was riding quite well. It was just a couple of mistakes trying to pass Alvaro. That was the only thing I would have liked to have been able to clean up a little bit. But apart from that, I felt like I was riding well for them conditions in this circuit where we struggled quite a lot.”