The opening Friday of the World Superbike weekend at Donington Park propelled Scott Redding into fifth position, six tenths of a second behind the day's leader Garrett Gerloff. On paper a friendly track due to his past experience in British Superbike, strangely the British rider did not find an excellent feeling with his Panigale V4-R.
“In the first free practice session I didn't have good sensations, I thought I could be fast right from the start, especially on the flying lap - he said - however, in the afternoon things didn't improve at all, quite the contrary. We have to analyse the data and further refine the set up for tomorrow's race”.
45 points away from championship leader Jonathan Rea, his home round simply has to represent a definitive leap in quality for the Aruba.it-Ducati rider, looking to make up for the difficult and negative round in Misano. Weather permitting. In fact, in true British style, the possibility of rain for both Saturday and Sunday is high.
“I still haven't shown my real potential, I have some margin to improve on today's benchmarks. Above all, we have to be consistent. From my point of view, despite knowing it in detail, this track is suitable for bikes such as the Kawasaki and Yamaha, both of which are more smooth - he continued – and have an advantage coming out of slow corners in terms of acceleration. In any case, we have a competitive technical package that can allow us to fight for the podium. We have not carried out many tests in the rain, it could turn out to be a real lottery ".
He also had one final consideration on the MotoGP performance of colleague Gerloff, called to replace Franco Morbidelli in Assen.
“He didn't go badly overall, the Yamaha proved to be an easy bike to ride. I enjoyed seeing a Superbike protagonist ride in MotoGP. With more mileage behind him, I think he can achieve even more convincing results ”.
Rinaldi: "We are losing in the fourth sector"
On the other side of the Borgo Panigale garage, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, fresh from two victories at the Misano weekend, wrapped up Friday practice in seventh position (sixth in FP2), behind his teammate and the BMW M1000RR of Tom Sykes. Unlike Redding, the Italian felt at ease since the morning.
“FP1 went well, even if we were losing something in the fourth sector. In the afternoon, as a result, we tried to refine that particular area of the track, however, compromising the rest. After that we went back on our steps, I think we will be able to fight for the podium, but winning will be difficult. The feeling with the bike is quite positive ”.
While over the distance the man from Rimini seems to have clear ideas, the same cannot be said of the time attack, which still has to be perfected.
“I wasn’t that fast on the new tires. We need to understand why and what went wrong in trying to get ready for tomorrow's race ”.