WorldSBK

The 2022 Pirelli Aragon Round was the first stop in the new chapter of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship for Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) after his move from Ducati to BMW. After completing a substantial amount of testing on the M 1000 RR, hopes were high that he could start 2022 strong for his new team, but MotorLand Aragon proved to be a baptism of fire for the British rider.

Redding ended the assisted test, which featured six 45-minute free practice sessions over two days, in 11and place on the Monday and Tuesday before the round as the second fastest BMW rider, just over a second off the pace of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who was fastest.

In the combined Friday practice times at the Aragon round, Redding was in 16and place and the slowest BMW driver on the track as he continued to adapt to the inline-four engine of his M 1000 RR, having previously competed on a V4 engine. After Friday’s two sessions, Redding lost four tenths to substitute teammate Illia Mykalchyk and eight tenths to Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW), the fastest BMW driver.

He also finished Saturday’s Superpole session in 16and place after enduring a difficult session, once again finishing as the slowest BMW driver but closing the gap to his team-mate to three tenths. In such a crowded peloton, the three-tenths gap between Redding and Ukrainian Mykhalchyk separates the duo by eight places. In race 1, Redding won a single point with a 15and place while his teammate was eighth with a gap of eight seconds after 18 laps.

After Superpole on Saturday, team principal Shaun Muir discussed Redding’s move to BMW and explained some of his struggles to Eurosport. He said: “We had quite a few tries like most teams. We left Barcelona in very good shape, we were only four or five tenths slower where we expected the top guys to be. It was a big culture shock this week. We struggled to make the transition. Lots of loss of grip. We have more power, it has been well publicized, we have a new engine package but it is struggling, as is Loris and Eugene as well. He knows he has to adapt to the bike and that will take time.

In the Tissot Superpole Race, Redding fought his way up to 12and position before enduring a tough race 2. After a few off-track excursions that dropped him out of order, Redding brought his M 1000 RR into the pits and retired from racing to cap a disappointing BMW debut for Redding; sound 15and place at the finish in Race 1, the only point he scored.

Speaking about his weekend, Redding said: “This weekend was not what I expected, although we had two days of testing on Monday and Tuesday. Then we come to the weekend of racing and we lost lap time. So for me it was hard to accept that. We worked very hard to try to solve our problem, but we really never got anything to help us during the weekend. It was difficult. We have to understand why it was different, we have to understand why we are suffering more than with last year’s bike. There have been some changes to the engine and the bike, we so we have to figure out why this is happening because the potential is bigger.Then in the last race of the weekend I just had no grip, the brakes weren’t working very well and the engine overheated. That’s how it goes There’s not much more to say We have to work er, understand and try to come back stronger because we don’t deserve to be in this position.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers also gave his thoughts on the situation. He said: “He can’t find a feel for the bike and especially out of the corners that we struggle to drive with. We were unable to provide a solution for this. During the test, which was quite cold, we didn’t experience these issues, but on the race weekend it was warmer and we clearly struggled. We must find a solution to this quickly because it is not acceptable for either of them. Of course, he is clearly upset. These boys are very motivated and Scott is a top driver. We have to deliver him a bike so he can be fast. Because he’s professional, he calmed down pretty quickly and then we just have constructive meetings and have to find a way forward.

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