December, 14 2012
Time is of the essence for Scott Redding - in a good way. The 19-year-old makes no secret of his wish to be a MotoGP champion and complete the journey that began in 2008 in the 125cc class. It’s just that he is in no hurry to do so.
“As long as you’re progressing every year,” he said, during a recent visit to Alpinestars HQ in Italy. “In the end it’s going to come. If you start pushing too early, you’re going to go backwards. I’d rather do it properly.”
Going backwards is certainly what Scott is not doing. Since winning Rookie of the Year in 2008, he has improved his results with every championship, this season notching up his highest standings finish with fifth.
“It was my best year so far. We more or less did what we aimed to do; finish in the top five in every race and in every practice. I think we hit that quite a lot during the season,” says Scott.
“We had a couple of disappointing results in mixed weather conditions, such as in Malaysia and Valencia, which lost us quite a lot of valuable points.”
But the young Brit doesn’t have to look far to find the inspirational rides of last season. With four podium finishes, including three third places and one second, he has much to be happy about.
“Aragon and Silverstone were the best results for me. They were two very hard races. I had an operation seven days before Aragon and people didn’t even think I was going to ride, and I got slated in the press. So I had a point to prove, and we got a podium.
“At Silverstone I was battling all throughout the race with Marc [Marquez] and I had the home crowd behind me and going absolutely mad - it was amazing.”
Top riders swear by the home advantage, and Scott is no different. In five seasons he has podiumed three times on his own patch, with that very special win at Donington Park in 2008 to become the youngest rider to win a GP race (aged 15 years and 170 days).
“It feels like you’re invincible, that’s the only way I can put it to people,” Scott says of riding in front of the home crowd. “I feel like nothing is going to get in my way, like I'm in this dome and it’s all about me and no-one else. It is exactly this feeling that I’m trying to capture for every race next year.”
Next year. There has been much talk about Scott turning down the chance to step up to the premier class on a CRT next season with Marc VDS Racing – with some saying he was crazy to pass it up.
“The CRT thing came about because of the Moto2 weight limit and we thought about going to MotoGP. But with the rule changes we decided to stay and fight for the Moto2 title, then move to the premier.”
Scott, whose riding style has been described as “hard-charging”, talks like he rides - direct and to the point: he will wait for a top factory ride before stepping up. “I’m still only 19. My goal and dream is to be world champion in MotoGP and that’s what I’m going to do.”
While talking about his heroes Loris Capirossi and Alex Barros, it is clear Scott places great emphasis on fighting for the glory, not having it handed to him. “When a rider fights for it, it means more,” he says, as a way of rounding off the interview.
And we tend to agree.