After collecting his first podium of the season when he finished third at the Assen GP, Scott Redding was on schedule to collect a second consecutive third place.
However, he did not know that the strategy that he and his Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati team was going to fail them in the final moments, leading him to drop a place as he crossed the line in fourth position after the ninth round of the MotoGP.
Sachsenring not suited to the Ducati Desmosedici GP
Now prior to race day Redding had struggled at the Sachsenring. The Ducatis are known for usually struggling at the narrow circuit and in the build-up to the race he proved that. His best result came during the second Free Practice session where he finished ninth, he failed to automatically enter qualifying two as he only managed to finished seventeenth during the session; then during Qualifying 1 he failed to make the top two finishing fifth meaning he had to settle for fifteenth on the grid.
Poor start during difficult conditions
It was a wet race and a poor start made things even more difficult for the Gloucestershire lad. He entered the first turn of the race in last position but in no time found himself becoming more comfortable with his Desmosedici GP and the wet conditions.
The track began to dry out as conditions eased and on lap 20 of the 30 lap race he chose to enter the pits to change bikes where he made the decision to run with intermediate tyres for the remainder of the race. His comeback was on!
Redding pitted where he changed to intermediate Michelins
He continued at a better pace making his way through the field as other riders were reluctant to pit hoping they could make it to the end on full wet tyres. But the tyres had degraded so much that they had no choice but to pit; they had left I too late however and by the time they got the slick tyres they had swapped to up to temperature not much time was left.
Redding was in third when Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) began their attack; the two had made the correct tyre choice as Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) who also pitted with them switched to intermediates, a decision that did not work out well for him.
Podium place stolen by competitors who chose slicks
Redding soon caught Jack Miller in second who had decided to stay out on wet tyres, but he was struggling to catch Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) who was extending his lead after flying through the pack on the slicks he had earlier switched to and gotten to optimum temperature.
Redding could claim second position if he just stayed on until the end. But he was under pursuit and on the penultimate lap Dovizioso had him in sight. Crutchlow was on the Italian’s tail though and when Redding was distracted by Dovizioso overtaking him, Crutchlow made an amazing move overtaking the two of them to gain second, Dovizioso was third and Redding was fourth.
He had no choice but to settle for the points rather than the podium as he was unable to contend with the lack of grip compared to what the others had on the slick tyres.
Redding happy with result despite disappointment
Redding said, “If someone told me yesterday that I could finish fourth I would not have believed it.” Despite being “sorry for not being on the podium for the second time in a row” he still remained “happy for this race”. He admitted that he “made a mistake at the beginning” but soon rectified that as he “felt good on the bike and started to recover position”.
Redding did not regret his tyre choice claiming, “This was the best option.” Justifying his decision he said, “There is no communication with the team during the race and this makes it difficult.” However in the race situation he found that when he “left the pits the track was still too wet for slicks.” Still he remained grateful for his team’s efforts saying, “I thank the whole team for the great job done.”