Scott Redding to clean up like Mr Sheene

Moto2 rider on verge of becoming first British champion since the 1970s icon

Scott Redding needs no reminder from a sports psychologist of his strategy for bringing a world motorcycling championship to Britain for the first time in 36 years, for the two-line mantra is tattooed onto his inner left forearm.

Under his leathers as he lines up for the 18-lap Moto2 race at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone today, the message reads: "Don't count every race, make every race count."

"I'm just focusing on being consistent," the 20-year-old from Quedgeley, Gloucestershire, said yesterday, before he stepped aboard his 180mph Kalex-Honda for qualifying.

"I can get too aggressive as I want it so bad I just go for it. But it's not always the best way. Sometimes you have to take two steps back to go four forward. That for me is the biggest thing — just calming myself down, staying focused and doing every little thing right."

That approach has earned Redding a 21-point lead in the Moto2 championship after 10 rounds, even though his title rival, the 22-year-old Spaniard Pol Espargaro, has won three races this year compared to the Briton's two. If Redding can work the consistency theme for a further six races after today, he will finish the season as Britain's first two-wheel grand prix champion since Barry Sheene took the 500cc crown way back in 1977.

"To win a world title would be a really good way to give something back to the people who have given so much to me," he said. "It is also good for British motorsport to have someone fighting at the front."

It has taken a world of stress, struggle and expense to get him this far from the days when he started racing a 50cc Mini-Moto bike as an eight-year-old. His father Adrian, a window fitter, and uncle Daryl, a farm worker, have shouldered much of the financial burden.

"It's a lot of money," said Redding. "Even the minibikes are not cheap to do. To pay for the races, the fuel, the fuel for the camper, the tyres, the motocross bikes, the training bikes. My dad and uncle took me to Spain, Italy, France every other week to get me where I am."

How much have they spent on him exactly? "To be truly honest, it's around one million or just under. It's basically broken the family. Now it's my turn to start paying them back.

"I've had some tough years. I thought my career was over in 2009 when I had a bad bike that broke down 24 times. We had three exhausts break, two punctures, the seat snapped, the rear shock broke out of the swinging arm — it was a never-ending trail of disaster."

But his talent was spotted by Michael Bartolemy, the manager of Belgium's Marc VDS team, who signed him in 2010. "Once we shared a hotel room at the Valencia Grand Prix and I saw him training in there until his eyes turned red," Bartolemy said. "I knew that he had the drive to succeed. Now I treat him like my fifth child."

Today Redding will line up with 30 rivals, mainly in their teens and early 20s, in a bid for the winner's 25 points at the end of a 66-mile contest. Doesn't the nervous tension overwhelm the desire to be consistent?

"It's not really nerves," Redding said. "You're nervous but you're not, because you work on your mentality to block things out. You are just so focused in a zone. It's a strange feeling and you can't explain it."

Now the West Country boy lives in Switzerland, but it's not a high-flier's existence. "I like it there because it's central to the European races," he said. "I'm not into flash cars and all that stuff. I drive a Volkswagen Caddy van; it's my little beast, a bit hammered with no wheel trims on it. I just chuck all my stuff in the back to go training."

A top motorcycle racer with an athlete's body could presumably have his pick of racetrack groupies, but Redding said: "I don't go around chasing chicks all the time. I have my moments, but I like to settle down with someone. If you had asked me two months ago, I would have said that I'm in love with a serious relationship. It finished, but I am seeing someone now. You need someone to fall back on."

Redding has already earned fame by becoming the youngest rider to win a race in the 64-year history of grand prix racing, in the 125cc British round in 2008.

Already his success in Moto2 has earned him promotion to motorcycling's ultimate category, MotoGP, on a 1000cc Honda for Italy's prestige Gresini team in 2014. British fans this afternoon will be hoping that he can clinch a famous triumph that could propel him there as the Moto2 world champion.

Boy racers: Life in the fast lane

Scott Redding/Barry Sheene

Background West Country boy/Sharp Londoner

Age at first GP win 15 years old/20 years old

Habits Pedalling his bike/Smoking

Girls One-girl guy/Played the field

Car Shabby VW Caddy/Rolls-Royce

Famous for Youngest GP winner, in 2008/Winning two 500cc titles

Quote We're not horrible to each other, it's about being better than the other guy/Before I met Steph [his wife], racing a bike was great for crumpet

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran will play three sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium in July
music
News
i100
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea