Pramac Ducati rider Scott Redding says he felt back to his “old self” during the final MotoGP pre-season test at Qatar, after a difficult start to the winter.
The Briton, riding a 2016-spec Desmosedici, struggled to make a big impact on the times during the first two tests of 2017 at Sepang and Phillip Island, where he ended up 19th- and 20th-fastest respectively.
He was also some way off the pace of Hector Barbera and Alvaro Bautista, his two satellite Ducati rivals who are on the same spec of bike he is this season.
But Redding’s fortunes turned around in Qatar, where he ended the test seventh-fastest, only four tenths off the pace of Maverick Vinales, and two places behind Bautista on the best of the GP16 Ducatis.
“We had to work a little bit on the setting here, because my problem was having no confidence in the front,” recalled Redding. “I crashed at every test, which is not really like me, and I was off the pace.
“Something wasn’t right but we kept working, and we tried a few things out of the box which seemed to work for me. I was working with the bike more like my old self, just doing what I want to do. That seemed to work over these three days. I improved every day, got faster.”
Despite posting an impressive laptime, which put him comfortably ahead of Pramac teammate and GP17 rider Danilo Petrucci, Redding said he believes he could have gone quicker still on Sunday.
“When I did the time attack, I knew I could go faster, and it’s been a long time since I knew I could go faster,” he said.
“We built it quite nicely also with the race run, pushing about 80 percent to be consistent 1m55s and 1m56s-low with a medium front and medium rear tyre.
“There were a few little things on the electronics we could adjust, but overall it was a good, consistent package.”