LONDON (Reuters) - British rider Scott Redding is delighted his home MotoGP race is returning to Silverstone this year and hopes to celebrate on the podium in August.
“It’s a pretty good circuit. I’d say I‘m pretty happy to go back there,” the 22-year-old, who won at Silverstone in Moto2 in 2013, told Reuters at the London Motorcycle Show on Friday.
Silverstone was confirmed this week as host for the next two years after a deal between the as-yet unbuilt Circuit of Wales and Donington Park fell through and left the race’s future in doubt.
Redding, who became the youngest ever grand prix winner when he won the British 125cc Grand Prix at the age of 15 at Donington in 2008, raced for the Italian Gresini Honda team last year but has switched to the Belgian-based Marc VDS Honda outfit for 2015.
The move means he will be on a factory specification Honda RC213V that will be quicker than the ‘open class’ bike he had last year and that was no match for the works teams.
“My bike this year can actually win races. Last year my bike just physically couldn’t win a race,” said Redding after an appearance for motorcycle insurance specialists Bennetts.
”I‘m definitely more motivated this year because I know the bike can win races. It’s up to me to do the work and build up myself and try and get some top five results.
“I had some good results last year but they were good results for the bike,” added Redding. “The only reason I got higher up was if some people crashed, a lucky result almost. So I want to be really fighting with the top guys at some point this season.”
Redding, runner-up in Moto2 in 2013, finished 12th overall in his rookie MotoGP season with a highest result of seventh and seven top 10 finishes.
No Briton has won a top category grand prix since Barry Sheene in 1981 but Redding believes he can end that long wait even if Spain’s double world champion Marc Marquez will take some beating.
”I think the top seven is my target for Qatar (the season-opener in March)...by the time we get to Silverstone I‘m looking to be top five and maybe try to sneak on the podium.
”I‘m really happy with the way I feel on the bike and very confident. The bike’s working well, the team’s good. I am confident we are going to improve more and more through the year.
“Silverstone should be a good point for me to step it up for the rest of the season,” said Redding.
The Briton raced Marquez in the Spanish championship, occasionally beating him, and expected him to be favorite again this year.
But he saw the works Yamaha team, with Italian great Valentino Rossi and Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, providing more opposition.
“Yamaha seem to have stepped it up a little bit and I think they are going to be pretty competitive as well. I think it’s going to depend on the circuits,” said Redding.
“I would say Valentino more than Lorenzo,” he said of the 35-year-old’s chances against the Spaniard. “He’s old, wise and very clever.”
Editing by Tony Jimenez