Ducati’s Scott Redding recovered from a difficult Tissot Superpole Race to claim a stunning Race 2 victory at MotorLand Aragon
The opening round of the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season was full of drama, especially with the weather playing havoc on Sunday for both the Tissot Superpole Race and Race 2 at MotorLand Aragon for the Pirelli Aragon Round. After taking a gamble that backfired in the first race on Sunday, Scott Redding’s (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) risk-taking paid off in Race 2.
Redding was one of only two riders, the other being Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) who started Race 2 from the grid on slick tyres although Redding’s teammate, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, came into the pitlane before the race started to switch from wet to slick tyres. The majority of the field started on Pirelli’s intermediate tyres, with the intermediate runners having an advantage in the first few laps.
As the track dried up from the rain in the morning, both Redding and Folger started to make progress through the field with the 2020 Championship runner-up able to fight through the field from eighth on the grid to claim victory by almost ten seconds while Folger secured his best WorldSBK result with eighth.
Reacting to the gamble in Race 2, Redding said: “I wasn’t confident. I had a lot of things going through my mind. I put intermediates on in 2019 in BSB and it didn’t work for me, it was my fault, it made me look stupid. I used the intermediate in MotoGP™ when I was with Pramac in Sachsenring and I missed the podium by two laps. I made that decision that I won’t race intermediates in a long race ever again. I had this in my stomach. I said, ‘put the slicks on, I’ll take the risk’. Sometimes you have to take a risk to get the reward. Happily, now, I can be happy, but it could easily have gone the other way and it could’ve been the wrong way. We are playing in that fine line in racing and I’m happy we were able to get the win.”
It ended a difficult weekend for Redding on a strong note for Redding and the factory Ducati outfit after both Redding and Rinaldi missed out on podium finishes in both Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race. The team will be hoping they can carry Redding’s Race 2 form into the Circuito Estoril next week; a circuit Redding secured a podium at in 2020 while Ducati were victorious in Race 2 with Chaz Davies (now Team GoEleven).
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