As had been rumoured for a number of weeks, MotoGP racer Scott Redding today confirmed that he will drop down to the British superbike championship in 2019.
The 25-year-old from Gloucestershire has a place in the history books as the youngest ever Grand Prix winner (winning the 2008 British 125 GP at the age of 15 years and 170 days) and has also won in Moto2. Redding moved to the premier MotoGP class in 2014 and scored podium finishes in 2015 and 2016, but has been unable to make much of an impression after signing for Aprilia this season – where he lies 21st in the championship.
As expected, Redding will be joining the PBM Ducati squad and will ride the new Ducati Panigale V4 racebike, with support from the Italian factory.
“It’s fantastic to be coming to BSB, it’s a championship I’ve never raced in and learning the circuits is very much part of the challenge which I’m looking forward to most,” said Redding. “This is a very exciting venture for me with a very competitive bike and the most successful team and I’m here to show what I can do. We will make the right preparations and I’m delighted the first round will be at Silverstone where I have great memories. MotoGP is tough and without the correct packages, it’s hard to win but BSB is at such a high level, I want to prove I’m capable of winning. It’s also a new experience and very important that I can race in front of my loyal fans in the UK more regularly.”
Redding’s arrival in British superbikes is a shot in the arm for the series, which lost multiple champion Shane Byrne through injury at the start of the season, and will lose this year’s top two, Leon Haslam and Jake Dixon, as they progress into world superbikes and Moto2 respectively in 2019.
PBM team owner Paul Bird, who supported Redding when he was a youth rider, confirmed that Byrne would not be part of his set up in 2019, adding: “Scott and I go back a long way and I’m delighted to continue our relationship in this latest chapter of his career. He’s a quality rider, as is anyone who can win at Grands Pri,x and we are confident he will be a title fighter in BSBi next season. A lot of people have worked hard to put this deal together so thanks to them and thanks also to our outgoing riders Shakey and Glenn. They have done a great job for us over the years, but it was time to call it a day with them and I wish them well in future.”
Glenn Irwin, PBM’s lead rider in 2018 recently confirmed that he will be moving to the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team as a replacement for the departing Haslam.