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Redding tops practice on WorldSBK debut

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ARUBA.IT Racing - Ducati rider Scott Redding (45) during round 1 of the 2020 World Superbike Championship on February 28, 2020 at Phillip Island Circuit in Victoria, Australia.

Image credit: Getty Images

ByEurosport UK
28/02/2020 at 14:35 | Updated 28/02/2020 at 16:37

It was the perfect start to Scott Redding’s World Superbike career as the Brit topped practice in the season’s opener, coping best with the rainy conditions at the Philip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

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The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season kicks off in Australia this weekend and the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider looked more than at home in his new surroundings.

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Debris on the track meant that a red flag briefly halted proceedings, but the 2019 British Superbike champion kept his composure throughout.

Redding topped FP1, leading Ten Kate Yamaha’s Loriz Baz by over a second, and with conditions improving heading into FP2, the 27-year-old held on to his advantage to finish on top ahead of a Yamaha pair of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark, who finished second and third, respectively.

Read more: Is Honda ready to challenge Kawasaki’s dominance?

Defending world champion Jonathan Rea, was sixth by the end of FP2. The Kawasaki rider, and compatriot of Redding, has won the last five World Superbike world titles.

Last year’s opener saw the man that Redding has replaced at Ducati, Alvaro Bautista, storm to three wins in the competition’s curtain-raiser. The Spaniard has since moved to Honda and finished in eighth place in FP2.

The opening race kicks off on Saturday afternoon with Ducati targeting their first World Superbike title since 2011, while ex-MotoGP man Redding is aiming to become the first rookie to win the title for over a decade.

Ahead of the season opener, Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna, said: “We believe to have all the necessary ingredients to be protagonists in every race of the championship.

"We have only one target, and that is to bring home the World Superbike title that we have been missing since 2011.”

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