SCOTT Redding wants to prove he is not a one-race wonder after finishing top rookie in his MotoGP debut.
The Quedgeley race ace finished an impressive seventh on the Qatar circuit of Losail last weekend and was astonished to beat former world champion Nicky Hayden.
MotoGP regulars Colin Edwards and Yonny Hernandez also fell by the wayside as Redding battled aggressively through the 22 laps to finish as the first open class Honda racer home.
And with the Grand Prix of Americas in Austin, Texas on April 13, the former Severn Vale School pupil feels the surprise success under the 3,600 floodlights of Losail has “got the ball rolling”.
The 21-year-old said: “I like the circuit in Texas but Nicky Hayden will be on home soil.
“I have just beaten him but now I have to do it again. I’ve set the standard and now I have to try to maintain it.
“My target was just to stay with him.
“If I’d stayed with him for five or 10 laps I’d have been happy, so to beat him was just a real surprise.”
Redding has enjoyed an amazing rise up the ranks of MotoGP racing since bursting on to the scene with victory in the 125cc British Grand Prix as a 15-year-old in 2008.
He surged to the top of the Moto2 rankings last year but saw his title hopes fall flat after breaking his wrist in the penultimate race of the season in Australia.
But by then he had already been snapped up by the Go&Fun Gresini team to take his place in the elite MotoGP class – achieving a lifelong ambition in the process.
“This step-up hasn’t been easy – understanding the bigger bike has been really hard,” Redding said.
“But this has always been my target, I want to be world champion one day and that is the reason I have done this all my life.”
But the former Severn Vale School pupil will have to be patient – his Honda RCV1000cc is currently 15mph slower than factory bikes which means he lost time on the 0.6-mile back straight in Qatar.
This season sees the introduction of new technical regulations, with ‘open’ machinery racing alongside the ‘factory’ bikes.
Team Go&Fun Honda Gresini will race both configurations, with debutant Redding racing the brand new RCV1000R.
Redding added: “There is not much more I can do this year – I just have to keep going and maintain this standard.
“I need more power if I want to be world champion.”
Redding enjoyed his best season in Moto2 last year, racking up three race wins and seven podium finishes.
He could have claimed the world title had the wrist injury suffered on Philip Island not effectively handed the crown to Spaniard Pol Espargarò.
Scott Redding is an ambassador for Bennetts – bike insurance specialists – www.bennetts.co.uk