Monday, March 10, 2008

A Baby Star Is Born In Qatar

Ever heard of Scott Redding? You have now. The English kid became the youngest rider ever to qualify on the front row of a Grand Prix grid when he started from 4th place in the 125cc Qatar Grand Prix at Losail (15 years and 65 days old, if you were wondering.)

Even to my untrained eye, the teenager's riding style was beautifully positive and smooth compared to a lot of the more experienced riders behind him, with some people saying they couldn't help comparing it to the style of a certain Valentino Rossi when he was a nipper. I think that would be what you call high praise.

In the race, Redding was quick, consistent and took no prisoners, battling his way as high as 3rd place and finishing 5th after being spat out the back of a 3-bike slipstreaming battle just before the finish line. You would forgive the kid for being mildly disappointed as he was so tantalizingly close to the podium, but he is still the youngest Grand Prix rider ever to finish in the top 5. It was a truly incredible debut performance, battling with riders who have dozens, or even hundreds of 125GP starts under their belts, and looking like he belonged there. After the race, he just looked at the camera, smiled and mimed a wide open throttle. You ain't joking, kid!

It's a cliche, but a star is born. He is clearly one of the most impressive talents to appear in 125GP for a long while, of any nationality. It's going to be fascinating watching his rise to the top.

I should also mention Redding's fellow Brits Bradley Smith, who took Britain's first 125GP pole since 1972(!!!) but finished 16th after his steering damper fell off, and Danny Webb, who started 5th and finished a career-best 6th on a 2nd-string bike.

For more info on Scott Redding, check out The Biker Place, which is your best bet for information about all the young British hopefuls.


Shaun said...

Thanks for the mention Jimmy :)

Was great to see Scott Redding up there in 125's, Danny Webb too. Was just unfortunate for young Bradley that his steering damper fell off.

Exciting times for British fans this year

Jimmy said...

Amazing how things change so quickly!