Redding ready to make every race count

Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:51am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) - To find out what makes Scott Redding tick, you might as well start with the stopwatch tattooed on his arm.

The British MotoGP rookie is still only 21 but already being compared to late compatriot Barry Sheene as a special talent. The story so far is inked on his body in a blend of pain and positive energy.

The old-fashioned timepiece has two hands with the outside one stopped at 48 seconds. The other, smaller and inside its own tiny circle, points to 45.

The 48 refers to the racing number of Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa, who died at the Misano circuit in Italy in 2010 after he lost control and fell into the path of Redding's chasing bike - the number 45.

Redding, who became the youngest ever grand prix winner when he triumphed in his home 125cc race at Donington Park at the age of 15 in 2008, had no chance of avoiding his Moto2 rival and needed 10 stitches to sew up his own back injury.

The memory of that day, and the media spotlight afterwards, remains a sensitive subject but it is not one he shies away from. The tattoo is there for a reason, as a reminder and source of strength.

"The 48 was his number...and I've got my 45 inside there, so we're close together and we're pointing to the same direction," Redding told Reuters in an interview after finishing an eye-catching seventh on his MotoGP debut in Qatar last weekend.

"He's with me, he supports me and we ride together."   Continued...

Go&Fun Honda Gresini Scott Redding of Britain rides his bike during a free practice session at the MotoGP World Championship at the Losail International circuit in Doha March 21, 2014. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad