An official one-day testing at Spain’s MotorLand Aragón circuit on Monday did draw to a positive conclusion of the first race weekend on European soil.
As well as almost the entire Superbike grid, Stefan Bradl and his Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team remained for the second official test. Blessed by great weather conditions and in contrast to the previous days without strong winds, ideal circumstances for a busy day of testing were given.
Bradl and his Crew had a clear idea for this test, mainly to work on a better turning with less stress to the tyres at the same time. Therefore, their schedule contained to evaluate different settings to the Honda Fireblade Superbike’s geometrie, weight distribution and suspension. The 27-year-old posted a best effort in 1´50.685 which was 0.3 seconds faster than his fastest lap time during the previous race weekend, set during Saturday’s Superpole1 session with race tyres.
Before the series continues with the Dutch round later this month, Bradl and his team will head for a two-day private testing at the Portuguese Portimao race track in two weeks.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 1´50.685 (74 Laps):
“It was a long and busy day. The weather conditions were perfect and we were able to do a lot of laps. Mainly we were working on the bike’s geometry as well to try and test many different suspension settings because we have to improve our pace. Finally, we have also found some more grip on the rear. This fact was also underlined during our race simulation we did also today with more than two third of the full distance here. Lap times were constant faster. In addition, my fastest lap time during today’s test was faster than during the weekend. Beyond that, we were able to make progress in respect to the front’s setting which means that the tyre is less stressed now. In the end, we found a setting of which we can say that we have made a small step forward. Therefore, it was definitely a positive day but we still face a lot of work ahead of us. Therefore, I look forward to our next test in Portimao in two weeks already.”
Official WorldSBK Test – MotorLand Aragón:
1 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´49.368
2 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´49.388 +0.020
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 1´49.536 +0.168 7 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / 1´50.685 +1.317
After Saturday’s first good race at Aragón, Stefan Bradl finished in twelfth position, collecting more points, however, he was less satisfied with this outcome.
The second race day during round three of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Spain’s MotorLand Aragón circuit got started in unusual cool temperatures last Sunday. In addition, strong winds made conditions more difficult. So, the 15 minutes long Warm Up session didn’t allow to get a taste of what teams and riders would expect for the race at lunch time.
By the time the red lights went out for race two at 1:00 pm, temperatures raised to normal values, whereas the winds were still strong. Thanks to his ninth position in Saturday’s race, Bradl started from sixth in the second row into the sixth points haul this season. Meanwhile, for Sunday’s race the 27-year-old and his crew had chosen a different strategy. This was intended to compensate the ongoing main issue with too much spinning on the rear in acceleration. But a too aggressive riding under breaking was costly to the front tyre.
Bradl and his Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team remain for an official one-day test on Monday at the MotorLand.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 12th – World Championship position 12 (19 points):
“We can’t be satisfied by the outcome of the second race. But I must admit that we went with a different strategy into today’s race. We tried to make the bike’s handling a bit smoother by changing the front’s setting slightly. This meant, that we tried to achieve a better turning. Unfortunately, however, this attempt did not been worked out. During the last laps, I struggled a lot because the front tyre was too much stressed obviously. Our plan behind was to be more aggressive under breaking which was truly in case but towards the end of the race I didn’t have any reserves. In any case, we tried to compensate our spinning by a slightly modified adjustment to the steering head angle to get a better drive whilst accelerating in corner exit.
“The idea basically was good as I was able to break later and therefore I could better use the strengths of our bike. But I always must ride in great lean-angle to achieve this better drive in corner exit – otherwise I will lose everything. By the way, my start was good today in general, but in the first corners I was in a poor position and therefore I lost a few positions. Subsequently, I just tried to make up ground by riding more aggressively under breaking, pushing the front harder, but this, as said, didn’t quite work out.”
WorldSBK Aragón – Result Race 2 (18 Laps):
1 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 33´30.906
2 Jonathan REA /GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +0.483
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +2.479 12 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +25.829
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 145
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / 95
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 91 12 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 19
Stefan Bradl experienced a very turbulent race day one in Spain.
After heavy thunderstorms last night, temperatures dropped down significantly on Saturday but strong winds dried out the 5 kilometres long track at MotorLand Aragón quickly. Meanwhile, Stefan Bradl showed up in determined fashion during this morning’s Superpole 1 to post second fastest lap time during this session which means that he qualified for Superpole 2 for the first time this season. But an engine breakdown did end his time attack abruptly. Therefore, Bradl started from eleventh on the grid into the race one this weekend.
During the short break until race one, his crew had a busy job to build up and prepare another bike in time. Bradl, then left the line well to finish the opening lap in eight position. However, soon after he found himself fighting for positions in a strong group, including three riders with his team mate Nicky Hayden and Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty. It was a great battle till the line, changing positions many times. Finally, Bradl came home in ninth which is his season best thus far.
Due to the new regulations, Sunday’s grid sees a new order. Today’s fourth to ninth placed riders will start in this order from the first two rows tomorrow whereas the podium finishers must tackle race two from seventh to ninth grid position respectively. So, this means that Bradl will start into the second points haul at Aragón from sixth.
Starting time on Sunday is scheduled for 1:00 pm again. Austrian broadcaster ServusTV starts its Live coverage at 12:30 am which is to watch in Free-TV in Central Europe.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 9th – World Championship position 13 (15 points):
“Of course, the engine breakdown did affect our race performance today. We had to use an engine which we used already last time in Thailand so obviously, there was a lack of horse power. At the start, however, I left the line quite well and I tried to stay with the guys, who were next to me on the grid. But, I soon had to realize that this task is very difficult to cope. These guys were just too fast and after my mistake last time in Thailand, I did not want to make the next one right now. But on the other hand, the race itself was very entertaining. I had an interesting battle with Eugene (Laverty) throughout the entire race distance. I was able to pass him several times but I could not open a gap at any time.
“During the last few laps, I was very focussed because I wanted to finish the race in front of him. But this has been failed because I got passed by Nicky (Hayden) during the final lap. Luckily, I could re-pass him at least. However, given to today’s problem we must be happy with this ninth position. Our main issue is still a too much spinning. In this respect, we soon need an inspiring idea to be able to accelerate properly in corner exit. Regarding the electronics, things are going without any serious problems this weekend so far. Of course, it would be desirable if it would be working even more smooth. But, for this there is also something to be patient.
“Due to today’s ninth position, I will start from second row tomorrow. But frankly, I do not need making any great hopes for a better outcome in the second race. Realistically, today’s top three riders, who are to start from behind now, will soon have passed me.”
WorldSBK Aragón – Results Race 1 (18 Laps):
1 Jonathan REA /GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 33´24.302
2 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +4.058
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +7.512 9 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +27.488
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 125
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 78
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / 70 13 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 15
For Stefan Bradl, the opening day at the Spanish circuit MotorLand Aragón brought mixed results.
Round three of this year’s FIM Superbike World Championship got underway with Friday morning’s FP1 under dry weather conditions but cool temperatures. Meanwhile, everything began well for the 27-year-old German with a pleasingly start into the weekend in Spain’s outback. Bradl concluded the first free practice session tenth fastest, just 0.6 seconds off the pace. But during the afternoon session he could not take benefit by the softer tyres.
On-track action continues Saturday morning with the third and final free practice before the Superpole sessions will decide the starting grid for race one which is scheduled to get started at 1:00 pm.
“Our summary after day one of practice here at Motorland sees mixed results. Whilst we were happy with FP1 this morning, things didn’t go that well in the afternoon. In any case, the first session was good start into the weekend. There were not many upgrades or new parts to the package because the bikes were delivered directly to Spain but we got along well from the beginning. However, conditions changed for FP2 significantly, particularly due to stronger winds. Beyond that, for some oddities the softer tyre didn’t work for us.
“It’s a pity because we saved two softer tyres to went out for a time attack but unfortunate I wasn’t able to improve my lap time. From my point of view, therefore, this option has less potential under conditions like this as originally assumed. Apart from that, it was difficult to improve overall. We were one half of a second off which creates some question marks. So, we need to look on it more closely. I think, that we must concentrate on the harder options tomorrow. In the end, I was pushed out of the top ten for which I’m a bit annoyed. That would have been going through Superpole 2.”
#AragonWorldSBK – Free Practices Combined Results:
1 #1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´50.062 (FP2)
2 #33 Marco MELANDRI / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 1´50.161 +0.099 (FP2)
3 #66 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´50.305 +243 (FP2) 11 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 1´51.177 +1.115 (FP1)
WorldSBK Time Schedule for Saturday, April 1st 2017 (MESZ):
08:45 – 09:10 FP3
10:30 – 10:45 Superpole 1
10:55 – 11:10 Superpole 2
13:00 – Race 1 (18 Laps – 91.386 km)
Stefan Bradl looks forward with special expectation to this weekend’s round three at the famous Spanish track.
Race number five and six at the modern MotorLand Aragón complex marks the series´ first round on European soil. The 5 kilometres long circuit is no longer an unkown affair to Stefan Bradl because he knows the challenging track in the outback of Barcelona well. The distance to Catalunya’s capital is somewhat of 250 kilometres.
Bradl and his Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team endured a sobering start into the new challenge with difficult races in oversea in Australia and Thailand. The all-new Honda CBR1000RR SP2 Superbike isn’t still fully developed to compete at top level in this highly competitive championship that is why engineers and technicians were working tireless during the break since the last race to try and further develope entire package.
The FIM Superbike World Championship calendar contains 13 events with one race on Saturday and Sunday each time. The machines are based on production Superbikes. TV viewers in Central Europa may watch all races live on Free-TV via Austrian channel ServusTV.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2):
“This weekend’s Aragón round is for several reasons very important for me. First, because it is the first European race and on the other hand, I’m really looking forward to race there because Aragón is a track I like lot since the first time I was there. I think we can improve our result from the first two round this time because in my opinion, the track suites more to our package which we have at the moment. I really hope that we can make progress and close the gap to the top guys. I eagerly to achieve strong results soon. Monday’s testing makes this weekend even more interesting for us. During this test, we have to take the right path for the central part of the championship.”
MotorLand Aragón – Circuit Information:
Length: 5.077 meters
Corners: 17 (10 left / 7 right)
Time Schedule (CET):
Friday, 31. March: 09:45 – 10:45 FP1
Friday, 31. March: 14:30 – 15:30 FP2
Saturday, 1. April 08:45 – 09:10 FP3
Saturday, 1. April: 10:30 – 10:45 SP1
Saturday, 1. April: 10:55 – 11:10 SP2
Saturday, 1. April: 13:00 Race 1 (18 Laps – 91,386 km)
Sunday, 2. April: 09:30 – 09:45 Warm Up
Sunday, 2. April: 13:00 Race 2 (18 Laps – 91,386 km)
In the second Australian race, too, Stefan Bradl couldn’t reach more than a disappointing 15th place on Sunday afternoon.
The 27-year-old German rider wasn’t also able to shine likewise the wonderful summer weather this weekend at Phillip Island. Fundamental problems with the engine of his race bike prevent him massively to show his full potential. Therefore, the second race went as disappointing as the championship’s opener on the previous day.
Round two of the FIM Superbike World Championship will take place in Thailand in two weeks. Bradl will spend the break in his Bavarian home.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 15th, WM-Position 18 (2 points):
“My start was quite good today, but in the first corner I was a bit pinched. So, I lost all the positions that I had won at the start. In the end, however, it was a similar race as yesterday. I’m very disappointed because we’re simply not able to find any ways to improve the bike. We’re deeply in the clamp although, we could achieve a few improvements with the front with which I felt a lot better. However, any changes we’re doing in terms to the throttle response and loads to the rear tyre, it seems to go up in smoke.
“We’re simply not able to manage to put the engine power to the tarmac because the power delivery is much too aggressive. We do our best to try and solve the problem by throttling the electronics but the engine’s characteristic is too aggressive innately. It’s frustrating because it’s clearly to see that we can keep up with the top guys in terms of the riding’s potential easily. Today I was able to maintain my position in that group for a long time. But with a look on the tyres after the race, it becomes creepy: apart from blistering, smaller parts were missing on the tread which happened due to the violent power delivery so, during the later stages of the race the resources were lacking in order to stay and fight till the line.
“In accelerating, we’re easy prey for our opponents. In corner exit, they whoosh from the left and right. In any case, I didn’t give up till the end but to give more wasn’t possible because it makes no sense to risk a crash as we need every single kilometre to collect valuable data. We have to use the break until the next race intensively in order to make our homework accurately.”
WorldSBK Phillip Island – Result Race 2 (22 Laps):
1 Jonathan REA /GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R/ 33´52.785
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +0.025
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +0.249 15 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +28.440
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 50
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / 40
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 26 18 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 2