Scott Redding survived a huge moment to record his first top-six finish of the 2016 MotoGP championship in Austin.
The Pramac Ducati rider suffered a massive front-end slide in the middle of the Esses, and pushed his right knee down so hard to save the moment, it completely destroyed his knee-slider.
“I closed the front in Turn 4, the biggest front slide I ever saved in my life, it’s so f*cking fast there,” he recounted. “I held it on my knee, but I had to push that hard I just f*cking destroyed it [his knee slider, pictured left].
“But that meant when I was in right-hand corners, I couldn’t push on the knee and take the weight off the front, so I was in a double f*ckery.
“I was, like, ‘what am I going to do now?’ Then I tried to spin the rear, and a couple of times I could spin, but when the front came back it wanted to plough, then get grip and try to chuck me again.
“I thought ‘I ain’t gonna be able to make this corner’ so I had to make two-point corners, and try not to go onto the edge. And now, when I tried to put my knee down, it was trying to pull me off the bike. It was a challenging few laps.
“In the end I was happy with the result.”
Soft-front tyre choice costly
Redding opted for the softest of Michelin’s front tyres for the race, but reckons he should have gone for the medium.
“I believe if I had the medium front I could have got to [Aleix] Espargaro,” claimed Redding. “The first part of the race was really good. But then the front tyre was just destroyed, I was losing a second, two seconds, every lap.
“Just at the end, I managed to change my style a little bit, I managed to get it down to half a second.
“I’d tried the medium front, but there was just more movement than the soft. So I thought it would have been worse for the race, but now we know for the future.
“After what happened in Argentina [where his bike broke down] I think we’ve been paid back where we left off.”