1 September 2014

Scott Redding Interview: 'I'm not spending another year on an Open bike'

Go&Fun Gresini Honda rider Scott Redding has impressed a lot of people in his rookie year of MotoGP, securing some top seven finishes on the Open Class Honda RCV1000R machine, as well as crossing the line as top
Redding had a special home livery for the second year
Photo: Gresini Racing
Open Class rider in Indianapolis.

The former MarcVDS Moto2 rider, who sensationally won his home Grand Prix at Silverstone last year, assures his fans that he thrives off the pressure and support they loyally provide, which he certainly showed this weekend. Redding also played his part in stirring home passions by sporting a one-off patriotic red, white and blue paint job on his Honda machine.

After finishing his first home MotoGP race in a very creditable tenth position, Redding is now pushing hard to get that all important factory ride for next season. We caught up with the 21 year old at Silverstone to see how his first year in MotoGP has gone.

You seem to be putting yourself down this year, why are you so critical?
"I'm not putting myself down but being the first Open bike of three or four riders - it's not for me. I want to be fighting at the front. I want to be winning and fighting for podiums with the best riders and at the moment I'm being held back. I've been the first Open bike and mixed it with some of the factory bikes but it's just that I want more. I finish the race and the guys are like 'great job' but I'm doing just that, 'my job'. I don't get anything back from it, I was the first Open bike in Indy, it was because Espargaró crashed but you don't get a trophy, you don't get anything, it's just like 'okay, well done' and then what's the point of even racing? It's a bit of a strange feeling for me cause it's not like I'm even battling to get to Parc Ferme, the only way I can get there is if Espargaró crashes."

Are you a lot busier now you're a MotoGP rider?
"I'm quite a lot busier with media things this season. When you come to MotoGP you seem to make a lot more friends, people keep wanting things. But the best thing that's changed is that you're in the premier class, you're in the highest category in motorcycle racing in the world. So you have to expect to be busier because you're part of the biggest thing in racing.

Sometimes it gets a bit much and I need a break & need to do other things. I can't just do media, media, media as is the case at the home GP but when you've got so many fans wanting to see you, have a photo or an autograph, I feel guilty when I can't sign something for somebody. Weekends like this I have to be somewhere else so I can't always do it and then I feel a negative vibe, which it makes me feel really bad because I would love to sign everything for everyone but I don't have the time, so it's difficult from that point of view.

I've been busy from 8am (Thursday). The first thing I did was sign autographs and then I have other media things to do with BT Sport, Bennetts, the team and also Riders for Health and that's without having any time to myself. I sat down at lunch for 20 mins and that's it. I've done nothing else today, so it is difficult when you have to say no to someone, and I do feel guilty. If I had the time of day I would do it but at the moment I don't and I feel that bad vibe which can get me down."

Do you think you'll be happier once you know about next year? 
"I'm not disappointed, I can make do with it for one year but for two years, it's not happening - I'd rather sit at home or go back to Moto2 or do something else but I'm not going to spend another year on an Open bike. Once I find out what's happening next year, it'll give me that little bit more motivation to finish the season. But anyway when I go out on track, I never fail to go out to do the best that I can because I still think with some good results on the Open bike, we can make it."

Weight was a big problem in Moto2, is it still a problem in MotoGP?
"So far my weight has not been a problem. But the middle of the racing pack you know it's a bit different than when you're running with the top riders and top machinery at the front of the race. So we'll have to see if we're going to be alright next season."

What do you feel is the most important thing you've learnt this year?
"I wouldn't necessarily say that I've learn't anything more important specifically this year because it's just racing. Of course the bike, the carbon brakes, the tyres, the power, are all new but away from those factors, the racing is nothing different really."

Is it easier to spend more of your time in Spain during the season?
"Spain's a lot better to prepare a rider for a season. In England you can't go and ride a supermoto without a licence, without insurance, without a medical. Let alone the fact that it can cost you £100 per day when you don't even get the track all day. I go to Spain and it's all "ah, we have a MotoGP rider, have the track to yourself!" And that's the difference. It makes it a lot easier and it's a lot warmer out there so with the heat conditioning, it's the perfect place to be. It's nice to be out there training, I feel that's the biggest change I've made compared to the 2013 season."

Do you miss England?
"I do like to come back home every now and then but with days like today, I went to go cycling and it's cold, it's raining and that makes it hard work to do some of the training. But apart from that it is nice to come home and see my family and friends."

What's your favourite thing about coming to your home round?
"To be honest it's got to be the fans. There's such a great atmosphere created by them all around the circuit and a big positive vibe that gives me goosebumps. I feel like these guys are really here for me and it makes me enjoy the weekend a lot more. I don't stress about it because I know it's always going to be alright, I think that's just the feeling of being at home, just to have so much backing."

Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
"Ideally, in the pit box next to Marquez. That's the guy to beat and I need to have the bike next to him and at the moment it's all about making the right steps to get there. We're working hard to try and make things right. I'm working as hard as I can to get the best results I can with the bike I've got this season because what I'm doing now will affect what happens next year and then the year after so it's those simple steps which are really important."

Do you have any advice for younger riders?
"It depends what level they are but I always say to people that they should never give up. You'll have good times, you'll also have bad times and the bigger man will come through in the harder times. If it's raining and it's windy and you have to go training, you have to go, you can't sit it out. You have to always be on top of your game, you have to be the bigger man in that situation and always dig deep when times are hard."

31 August 2014

Moto3 & Moto2 Silverstone round up: Rins returns with win, Rabat in charge

Moto2 kicked off race day at a bustling Silverstone in a change to the usual timetable and brought some great racing with a tight battle at the front.

As the laps counted down and rivals faded it became a battle for the podium places between Championship leader Tito Rabat, Mika Kallio and rookie Maverick Vinales.

Rabat held his nerve and battled ahead for the win, just 0.063s ahead of early leader and fellow Marc VDS rider Kallio, despite a spirited performance Vinales was forced to settle for third.

The Paginas Amarillas rider was easily ahead of pole man Johann Zarco who took fourth for Caterham AirAsia. The Frenchman was in turn clear of Interwetten's Tom Luthi as the once close pack began to splinter. The Swiss rider finished fifth.

Sixth across the stripe was Italtrans rider Franco Morbidelli, beating top British rider Sam Lowes into seventh by a slim margin.

Eighth went to Petronas Raceline Malaysia hopeful Hafizh Syahrin, Ninth NGM Forward Racing's Mattia Pasini with Axel Pons continuing his good run of form over the weekend to claim tenth for AGR.

The remaining points went to the tight battle between the pack of riders in pursuit, Jordi Torres in 11th for Aspar, Italtrans' Julian Simon 12th, Octo IodaRacing's Randy Krummenacher 13th, Tech 3's Marcel Schrotter 14th with Taka Nakagami picking up the final point.

Gino Rea finished a solid 20th.

An early crash took out Dominique Aegerter after clipping Vinales wheel. Jonas Folger later slid out of the action collecting Simone Corsi in the process. Birthday boy Xavier Simeon also fell.

Dakota Mamola had a technical issue preventing him from making the most of his substitute ride.

Jeremy McWilliams persevered in his development role aboard the Brough Superior, riding with a broken nose and being lapped towards the end of the race.

The stands were still full for the final race of the day, and Moto3 did not disappoint.

The race was wide open until the final corner when Estrella Galicia rider Alex Rins snatched victory, easing away memories of his now infamous early celebration at the previous round in Brno.

Smith has tough home race but crowd curbs disappointment

Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith had a tough race at his home track of Silverstone, however the home support from the fans spurred him on to finish the race, despite being lapped.
Wheel rims let Smith down today
Photo: Tech 3 Racing

Getting a strong start to the race from the outside of the third row, Smith kept his position in the opening laps however it wasn't long before he had to pull into pitlane with a technical problem. With his wheel rim cracked, Smith got his team to replace the wheel and using the tyre from qualifying he finished the race in front of his home crowd.

The 23 year old didn't leave this weekend feeling too frustrated however, as he states he can't be frustrated with stuff thats out of his hands, in terms of his lap times and the way he's riding he knows he is capable of securing a top six finish aboard the satellite M1.

Smith explained what happened in the race: "I was jumping out of my seat to be able to follow the leading group like I did, in order to make some passes. I passed Pedrosa and everything was going good; I think I did my best lap on my first flying lap. Everything was perfect and then all of a sudden I felt the rear drop, I thought it could have just been the extra temperature but it slowly got worse and worse until the point where I was having big moments. I was pretty much crashing at every corner. It turns out we'd got a cracked rim, I don't know exactly when it cracked, but yeah unfortunately that was it. I stopped, changed to a tyre from qualifying yesterday went back out, having no real issue as I was running back in the 2.03s so a little bit frustrating from the point of view, but also a clarification that we would have been 6th today."

Redding overcomes difficulties to finish top Brit at Silverstone

Go&Fun Gresini Honda rider Scott Redding finished his home Grand Prix as top Brit, securing a top ten finish on the production bike.
Rookie Redding finished top Brit
Photo: Scott Redding Official 

At a track he has won on in Moto2 in the past, Redding has had a strong weekend, finishing inside the top six in some sessions as well as making it in Q2 on Saturday. Starting from 11th on the grid, the 21 year old had to overcome fuel load problems in the early laps, but once he got into his rhythm he was able to keep up a consistent pace throughout the race.

Finishing ahead of Factory Ducati rider Cal Crutchlow, as well as securing his top ten finish on the closing laps of the race, Redding explains his first home GP as a MotoGP rider “I’m happy with the result today. At the beginning, with a full fuel load onboard, I was struggling to get the bike stopped and turned. This allowed the guys in front of me to pull away a little in the opening laps, but I managed to keep Crutchlow and the other open class Hondas behind me, which was the aim. 

As the bike got lighter I was able to push harder and settle into a good rhythm. I caught Hernandez very late in the race for tenth, but managed to beat him to the line by 1.2s. Finishing as top Brit at the British Grand Prix is always good. I know Smith had a problem in the race, but for me it was good to beat Cal today.”

Dovizioso has 'perfect day' as he battles for podium at Silverstone

Ducati Factory's Andrea Dovizioso left Silverstone feeling positive with the fifth position he secured in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, with the Italian fighting with Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa for the final podium spot.
Dovizoso had a solid hold on third position
Photo: Ducati Factory Team

Emphasising the importance of finishing less than ten seconds behind race winner Marc Marquez, Dovizioso seemed to be feeling very positive about the rest of the season, with just a few more area's that need fixing. Starting the race from second position on the grid he was able to get a strong start and was third going into Beckett's.

He was able to hold off compatriot Valentino Rossi on the Movistar Yamaha for a quarter of the race, and didn't let him go that easily. Caught in a fight for third position with Rossi and Pedrosa, the 28 year old was unable to keep up with the podium finishers which he said was down to his lack of rear grip towards the end.

He explained: "I am so happy with how the race went, the fact that we were with Valentino and Pedrosa all race and especially that we finished under 10 secs from Marc, that was our target. I didn't expect to be under 10 seconds so now we've got this result, it's really positive for us. 

I pushed really hard, gave it 100% for the whole race. In a few places I was faster than Valentino and Dani but then I lost a lot of time in a few corners, so I wasn't able to fight with them in the last few laps to get the podium. It was the really perfect day, if we want the battle but that was too much and in any case we have to be happy about our speed and about our power."

MotoGP: Marquez trumps Lorenzo in Silverstone thriller

He gave his rivals a glimmer hope in the Czech Republic but Marc Marquez restored order at Silverstone by taking a battling win from Jorge Lorenzo in the British Moto Grand Prix.

Lorenzo led Marquez into Copse on the first lap
Photo: Repsol Honda
With Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso only able to challenge Spanish duo in the opening laps, Marquez and Lorenzo put on an exhibition battle for the 67,000 strong British crowd that was reminiscent of their 2013 Northamptonshire encounter.

Challenging Marquez and Lorenzo proved to be a step too far for Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Dovizioso who fought it out for the final podium spot some seven seconds behind. In the end Rossi’s race-intelligence was the deciding factor as he rode to his eighth podium of 2014.

True to recent form Lorenzo got the drop and set about gapping his rivals on the first lap. Unlike the last time out, Marquez was tucked in behind from the off and seemed content to let the Yamaha lead. By lap five they had broken Rossi, who, by his own admission, had used too much of his rear tyre trying to keep up and was hampered by grip issues.

30 August 2014

Rossi 'not fully satisfied' with sixth position in qualifying

Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi had a more positive day at Silverstone, however he feels he could have set a faster time than sixth position in qualifying today.
Rossi feels he didn't reach his full potential today
Photo: Yamaha MotoGP

The Italian had a much better day aboard his YZR M1 this afternoon, after he struggled to break into the top ten on Friday. After some modifications to the bike and more grip on the track Rossi was able to break into the top five throughout the practise sessions. Rossi explained his minimum goal is always to finish on the second row of the grid, which he achieved today despite some minor issues.

Hoping to find two or three more tenths tomorrow, the 35 year was unhappy he couldn't finish a few position's higher. "Today was a better day for us, yesterday was very bad and we were worried but today with Silvano and the team we modified the bike and fortunately our pace and rhythm improved a lot from the morning. In the second practise today I stayed in the top five and I enjoyed to ride this morning as well as this afternoon. 

In general it's a positive day but personally I am not fully happy about my qualifying. I am not fully satisfied because I think I have a little bit more potential, I wasn't able to use the maximum grip of the second tyre and I'm in 6th, which is not bad, but I think I can do two or three tenths better.

Anyway we can work tomorrow, I still have some problems in the entry in some places on some bumps, we are not at 100% but we can work tomorrow to try and improve a bit but I think that we are already quite fast."

Smith happy with seventh position start and feeling optimistic

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith will start his home Grand Prix from seventh position on the grid, on the outside of the third row which is a line he is happy with, and is feeling optimistic ahead of the race.
Smith loves the reception from the home crowd
Photo: Tech 3 Racing

Improving on yesterday's times, the Oxford-born rider felt he could have got another 0.2s off his time's today, however a slight error in terms of gearing caused Smith to lose time on his final flying lap. The 23 year old still has a few things to change in warm-up tomorrow morning, however he's happy with his race pace ahead of the 20 laps around the circuit tomorrow.

"We improved by 1.5s from yesterday and some of that is down to the track but also some of it is down to a few set up changes that we did. We're still struggling in a few places but they're all similar corners so it should be quite easy to make a change for tomorrow. 

I made a slight mistake in the last sector on my best lap, I kind of missed gear. I think there was 0.2 seconds left for me to find but starting from 7th will be better for me tomorrow. Being on the left hand side of the grid means you can go on the outside and use the space when you're up at turn one and then you're on the inside going into turn two. I'm quite optimistic we can get a good start, we had a good pace in FP4 today. I stayed out there the whole session and was putting in consistent 2.03s lap times, so I'm ready for a good race tomorrow."

Laverty hoping for warmer track temperatures for MotoGP race

Paul Bird Motorsport's Michael Laverty has qualified in 20th position for tomorrow's race at Silverstone, and the British rider feel's he could have the pace to finish in the points in tomorrow's race.
Lavery discusses the session with brother John

Riding in the CRT class Laverty has had a slow start to the weekend, as he didn't finish within 107% in the opening session, however he soon improved his pace and finished Friday in 20th position, putting him in the middle of the CRT riders, and looking comfortable for qualifying. In similar conditions on Saturday, the 33 year old was able to secure a position in the middle of the seventh row.

Laverty explains: "So far this weekend's been okay, but the long straight's hurt us a little bit. We lose a second down the Hanger Straight alone so it's difficult, but we worked hard and got a reasonable qualifying. I'm happy with the work we've done but for our bike to work we need the temperature to come up a little bit. 

The cold makes everything a little stiffer and a it's harsher too so the bumps are quite aggressive round here. It's been difficult to generate the heat in the tyres and to get the feedback that you want but we've done a reasonably good job with the setting today, I'm feeling reasonably comfortable going into the race.  

Tomorrow we can hopefully take a few points but unfortunately that can depend on a few of the factory and open class riders crashing out. But I'll to try and beat the 5 CRT bikes, if I can beat them then I'll have reached my goal and hopefully get onto the back of the other guys like Abraham and Aoyama."

Crutchlow: "I don't think I've ever been so slow around Silverstone"

Ducati Team's Cal Crutchlow continued to struggle at his home Grand Prix of Silverstone, qualifying in 15th position at the back of the fifth row.
Crutchlow is having a disappointing home GP
Photo: Ducati Racing Team

Sounding very downbeat in his media debrief, Cructhlow explained that he was forced to cancel his second 'flying lap' in qualifying due to problems with his rear tyre, which he says has been a problem over the past few rounds and not just for Ducati. Almost crashing three or four times, the Coventry rider didn't want to risk yet another big crash at Silverstone, so he was forced to settle for 15th position on the grid.

His lap time of 2.03.407 wasn't enough to put him into the top two, and then as a result into qualifying one - he finished 0.786s behind fastest man and fellow countryman Scott Redding.

Crutchlow explained: "Today's the same as every other day, disappointing and not fast enough. I want to be running the same pace as the factory bikes, I don't think I've ever been so slow around Silverstone, I think I was faster probably with the Superbike. I don't have the feeling with the bike or with the tyres and I don't see a way by tomorrow morning that we will suddenly find it. I'm optimistic, hopefully we will see something in the data later and will then see if we can improve. 
But we're too far away from the other Ducati riders, I feel that if we found a good feeling we would be a long way ahead of the guys in front of us in the qualifying. It's easier said than done but we're just too far away. 

I scrapped the second qualifying lap as I had a massive vibration with the soft rear tyre. Even if I didn't have the vibration, I don't expect I would have been the quickest in the session anyway. But I wasn't going to take the risk as I nearly crashed 3 or 4 times in two laps with the second tyre. This is why I had to scrap the second lap because I nearly went over the handlebars a few times." 

MotoGP: Marquez secures tenth pole position but found qualifying 'difficult'

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez secured his 10th pole position at Silverstone today, and was the only rider to set a time in the 2.00. bracket, as Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo rounded out the front row.
Marquez continued his fast pace as he works round the bumps
Photo: Repsol Honda

Dovizioso and Rossi sat at the top of the timing screens for the majority of FP4, with Repsol Honda team-mates Marquez and Pedrosa not far behind in 3rd and 4th. However no one broke into the 2.01 lap times throughout the session. Marquez soon topped the session in the closing minutes, ahead of Dovizoso and Pedrosa. Rossi seemed to find his race pace in that session, putting him in fourth.

Go&Fun Gresini Racing dominated Qualifying One this afternoon at a cloudy Silverstone, as the team-mates were the only two riders in the top two throughout the whole session. Cal Crutchlow continued to struggle on his Factory Ducati, as he struggled to set any times that would put him in the top two, he qualified in 15th position. On the production Honda, Scott Redding topped the session with a time of 2.02.639. This put him ahead of Bautista on the factory Honda. Leon Camier crashed with just one minute to go, however his position on the grid wasn't challenged and he qualified in 18th position.

Moto3 and Moto2 qualifying round-up:Silverstone - Rins rules, Zarco dominates for pole

Moto3 got qualifying under way ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone with Alex Rins keen to forget his early celebration in Brno and starting in the best possible way as he powered to pole, setting a new record time in the process.

The Estrella Galicia rider set his best lap before his rivals began to trip over each other in the final minutes. It is his third pole start on the Honda this season.
Rins talks to the media in Parc Ferme 

He is joined on the front row by Go&Fun's KTM piloted by Nico Antonelli and his Estrella Galicia team-mate Alex Marquez, who held the best time briefly before being bettered by Rins.

Enea Bastianini heads row two in fourth on the second Go& Fun bike alongside The Ambrogio Racing Mahindra of Brad Binder, who continues to impress for the manufacturer and Brno winner Alexis Masbou in sixth.

The factory Mahindra of Miguel Olivera sits in seventh, Championship leader Jack Miller eighth for Red Bull KTM Ajo in a tough weekend for the team and Team Calvo's Isaac Vinales ninth. The Husqvara of Niklas Ajo completes the top ten.

Danny Kent was the top home rider in 12th, John McPhee placed 17th with chatter issues while wild-card Joe Irving was 32nd.

Romano Fenati again has it all to do in the race starting from 22nd for Sky Racing Team VR46.

Moto2 brought another display of dominance as Johann Zarco eased away from his rivals as the Silverstone track seemed to suit rider and bike perfectly – leading to the French Suter riders first Moto2 pole and a first pole for his Air Asia Caterham team.

29 August 2014

Bradley Smith talks Sachsenring crashes, 2015 and home crowds with PaddockChatter

Currently sitting in tenth position in the MotoGP World Championship standings, Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith has had a tough mid-season aboard the M1 as he has struggled with the limits he can push his bike to.
Smith with the British crowd for the DOC
Photo: Tech3 Yamaha

Feeling more settled now at his home round due to having his 2015 contract under his belt, signing with the satellite Yamaha outfit for a third season, Smith is now looking to end his season on a high and hoping for a string of top five finishes starting with his local race at Silverstone. At a track he loves, the 23 year old will be working tirelessly to put on a superb show for his fans, as well as finishing as top Brit. PaddockChatter caught up with him at the Silverstone circuit for a brief chat:

How important was it getting the new contact signed for he rest of the season?
"I think it settles a riders POV or thoughts a little bit. It's nice to know I've done 18 months so far and got another 18 months to go, so basically everything I've learned in these 18 months so far I've still got more. It's also nice for the whole team to know what they're doing, nice that we're all pushing for the end of this year. But instead it's not. It's not really 'coming to an end' in a sense. We can think about to the end of this year then moving on into the winter to think about what we're gonna do thereafter, to think about what we can do in the winter test and so on and so forth. There's a bigger plan, let's say, which I think is better and easier for everyone involved."

What's your goal for the end of the season?
"Since the summer break I've come back and we've been fighting for top six which is where I want to be. In Brno we would have been fighting again for a top 6 or minimum 7th without the tyre issues so I was a little bit disappointed from that point of view. But again with this weekend, trying to be in-front of the Ducatis, me and Pol are against them in the team standings so we'll try and gain a few points on them there and see what we can do. I'd say fifth is a safe bet to keep on pushing for."

MotoGP: Marquez back to his best in a bumpy Britain

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez ended the first day at Silverstone on top after topping both sessions and improving on his morning time by over a second, however he the bumps are hindering the Spaniard.
Marc dominated at a bumpy Silverstone
Photo: Repsol Honda

Marquez topped the opening session of the weekend at a cloudy Northampton circuit, ahead of Ducati pair Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso. In his usual style, towards the end of the session the reigning world champion wasn't challenged for the top spot, with riders seeming to use the time getting used to the cooler track temperatures.

Just Dovizioso and Marquez were able to set fastest laps in the morning session, however it was fellow Ducati rider Iannone who broke into the 2.03 lap times with Marquez. Dovzioso rounded out the top three, 0.979s ahead of Bautista and Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top five. Movistar Yamaha pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi finished the session with 7th and 8th respectively as Bradley Smith continued to be top Brit in 11th, ahead of Crutchlow in 13th and Redding in 14th.

Day of Champions attracts record crowd at Silverstone

Gates at the British GP were opened for the annual Riders for Health Day of Champions, now into its 24th year, with the first one being held back in 1990. Silverstone hosted the day for the fourth time, and it was an
Riders were greeted by a record crowd
outstanding success attracting record crowds as well as a record sum.

Allowing fans to be up close and personal with the riders, the paddock is opened for four hours with 'access all areas' passes available to buy which allows the public to meet their favourite riders and discover the MotoGP paddock and pit lane. Andrea Coleman, Co-founder and CEO talks to PaddockChatter about the day:

"Yesterday was really a great day and everyone was very happy, the paddock was full of people. The teams and riders were brilliant and we made a record sum; our auction raised over £80,000 which was amazing. We also had a record crowd of 8,000 people, the sun even shone apart from a couple of clouds came over once in a while, but they cleared and it was a great day. We all had fun, we ran very smoothly and everybody was happy."