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Rachit Thukral

Redding sure BMW speed at Donington no flash in the pan

BMW introduced a sizeable upgrade to the works M1000RR of Redding and Loris Baz's satellite machine for last weekend’s Donington event, having slumped to last place in the manufacturers’ standings this year behind a vastly-improved Honda.

The updates passed their first test with Redding challenging for third place in the opening race of the weekend, before staving off an attack from the Kawasaki of Alex Lowes to achieve BMW's first podium of 2022 in the Superpole race.

He would later go on to finish fifth in the final 23-lap race, capping off the strongest weekend of the season so far for the German marque.

The bikes of Ilya Mikalchik and Eugene Laverty will also receive the same swingarm, among other updates, in less than a fortnight’s time at Most, further boosting BMW’s hopes before the traditional mid-season break in August.

Redding was quick to praise BMW for delivering a tangible step in performance with the upgraded M1000RR, stressing that it was important for the morale of the entire team.

“It is a step forward - that is what I was looking for this weekend," said the 29-year-old. "Got a podium in the Superpole race, we had a fourth, a fifth, a front row. 

“This is important for us to make these steps to build confidence in the team, in the package, in myself. This is what all the group needs to build together, which is important.

"Super happy in front of the home fans that I haven't seen in a couple of years and put on a show. They could see I was fighting really hard and just fighting till the end. I'm happy with the weekend.

“I said before the weekend we've got a couple of weeks off, I want to make a step. We are progressing and that is great but I want to make a step because they are too far [ahead]. 

“This weekend we've done that and it's been impressive for me and also for the team and we need to keep that focus.”

Scott Redding, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, Alex Lowes, Kawasaki Racing Team WSBK (Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images)

Redding also revealed that the upgrade package at Donington went beyond a new swingarm, with several other small changes producing a bike that was both more competitive and rideable.

“It's just not the swingarm, we added some things with the electronics that helped me as well," he explained. "Some things with the actual chassis setting, I had different handlebars for comfort, and different gear levers were helping me. It was five things together that made the step.

"The less I have to think about the more I can focus on riding, feeling good on the bike.”

Donington is a track that has historically been strong for BMW, with Tom Sykes and Michael van der Mark finishing second and third respectively in last year’s Superpole race and Sykes clinching another podium in the final race of the weekend.

However, Sykes’ successor Redding feels there is reason to believe that the upgrades will make BMW competitive at other tracks as well, having finished no more than 12 seconds behind the race winner at Donington - a significant improvement over the previous four rounds of the season.

Asked if he could expect similar results at Most, he said: "Yeah, I believe so. I don't see why not. The results BMW had in the past here were in a little bit mixed conditions, some [things] happening… I mean they were still getting the result, but it wasn't true [reflection of their pace].

“This weekend, we've been there, we've been there, we've been there and I said to the guys, 'our worst sector, we're not losing 0.4s, we are losing 0.2s. On other circuits [the deficit] is 0.4s.' 

“I look in the details, I break everything down. I feel we made a step. I feel it in my stomach.

“We had the same discussion. ‘Do you think we can transfer it?’ My answer is. Yes, I believe it and even if it's not, we are definitely in a step. And that's the most important thing for me is, if it's big or small, we have to go forward.”

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