During Sunday’s race two at Imola, Stefan Bradl was slowed by massive gearbox issues.
The 27-year-old Superbike rookie from Germany experiences a frustrating season so far. After crashing on Saturday morning, where Bradl escaped harmless but his bike including the new more powerful engine were total damaged, he was able to bring home another top ten finish. On Sunday morning, however, when the weather was fine again, the world looked gloomy again. He endured already during the 15-minutes long warm up session niggling gearing problems, which despite intensive efforts could not sort out untill the race’s starting time at 1:00 pm. The fact that the race was stopped by red flags just during the opening lap because of an engine breakdown by another rider’s bike and restarted after 40-minutes interruption didn’t matter at all. By the way, the organizers and track marshals did a great job during the entire weekend in terms of safety after that many interruptions due to engine issues.
The Superbike World Championship is set to continue in two week with its visit to the English circuit at Donington Park.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 14th – Championship position 12th (43 points):
“It was again a race, about which is not much to say. My start and the first lap were ok. But under breaking for the chicane in lap two, I made a mistake because I didn’t know in which gear I was in this moment. So, for this my race was gone because I had to struggle all distance long with these gearbox issues. Every time in gearing, I had to push the gear in, as well as in down shifting the gearbox went into neutral. Yesterday, the same gearbox worked faultless, but these problems appeared already during warm up this morning.”
“We tried to fix it during the break till the race by the electronics in order to extend somehow the endurance of the gearbox but unfortunate without any success. This engine, which we must use for the completely rebuild bike, already lasts since four events. So, no one can be accused of this. After such an durability, the gearbox is simply worn out. In the end, it was a bad race for us during which I never was able to set decent lap times due to these problems as well as many mistakes in my riding were logical consequences. With P14 and two more points we come out of it partly well.”
#ItalianWorldSBK – Results Race 2 (18 Laps):
1 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 32´12.361
2 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +3.739
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +4.342 14 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +54.649
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 235
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 161
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 160 12 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 43
Next race: 27/28 Mai, Donington Park / Great Britain
After a turbulent Saturday with the weekend’s first race, the Honda rider didn’t make it more than to tenth.
The series´ ninth race took place under good conditions but with increasingly warmer temperatures on Saturday at lunch time. For Stefan Bradl, however, the day started with a fright when he crashed during FP3 in the morning. Fortunate, he escaped harmless but on the other hand, his bike had only scrap value. So, this means once again a lot of work for the team’s mechanics to rebuild a completely new bike during the short break until Superpole1.
During this 15-minutes long time hunt for the last chance to qualify for Superpole2, which is to decide the top spots on the grids in the first four rows, the 27-year-old German showed up quite unimpressed by the previous happenings as he posted fastest lap time in Superpole1. This was why he made the leap into Superpole2 for the second time in his rookie season in FIM Superbike World Championship. Bradl qualified for twelfth on the grid finally. Race 1 itself didn’t went as spectacular for him. Lacking track knowledge and in acceleration were obviously his handicap to finish better than in tenth place. The race was red-flagged due to an incident involving Irish rider Eugene Laverty after twelve laps.
Race two on Sunday is also scheduled for 1:00 pm and can be viewed in Free-TV in Central Europe via Austrian’s broadcaster ServusTV. It’s programme, however, starts already 30 minutes earlier.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 10th – Championship position 11th (41 points):
“Things didn’t go quite well again today, honestly. The crash this morning, of course, did affect a little bit my confidence, as well as we had to use the old engine when rebuilding the bike. So, the handling was completely different during the race for which it took some laps to find my rhythm. The race itself was rather boring from the start. I didn’t really have a chance to take action into the happenings. Mostly I was riding alone and I made too many mistakes.”
“Shortly before the race was red-flagged, I lost one position on Roman (Ramos). In the end, however, this was a help for me to follow another rider. So, I was able to see something and find the way how to ride more consistent throughout a lap. But our main problem was still present. In corner exit, our bike is not good enough in acceleration. Therefore, I tried to make up this disadvantage under breaking. Unfortunately, this target did not work out completely because I have made some mistakes. Hopefully, I’m able to convert all this things during tomorrow’s race in a better way in order to be faster out there. One half of a second in terms of lap times is clearly the minimum.”
#ItalianWorldSBK – Results Race 1 (12 Laps):
1 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 21´21.371
2 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +6.696
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba-it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +9.287 10 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +34.585
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 215
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 144
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 136 11 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 41
After the opening day, the 27-year-old Superbike rookie is enthusiastic about the track’s varying layout in Imola.
The 4.9 kilometres long circuit at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari differs in so many aspects to the world’s most other race tracks. Most obvious is the location of the circuit in the middle of Imola. From the paddock, it is only a few minutes’ walk to the city centre. But the layout itself has a lot more to offer, as Stefan Bradl had to learn.
Round five got started in good conditions with nice weather. At the challenging circuit in the Emiglia-Romagna, it was not easy for Bradl to set decent lap times straight away so, Friday morning’s FP1 was therefore to get familiarized with the track at the famous named Autodromo . During the second session, however, the Honda rider was able to improve his lap times significantly, but he still faces the challenge to qualify for Superpole 2 going through the first timed session on Saturday.
As usual, both races of the weekend will be broadcasted by Austrian channel ServusTV. The show starts on Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 pm respectively with a detailed pre-reporting from the Italian round.
“My first impressions about this track aboard my race bike are pretty much ok. I like the layout very much, because it is just completely different to many other race tracks. Nevertheless, it is hard for me to really enjoy riding for the moment. Of course, it took some laps to find the way around here because one lap is enormously varied. There are many high-speed parts, followed by hard breaking points. Compared to Thailand, it is much harder to get around quickly.”
“But apart from the fact that I must improve my riding first, we have massive problems in accelerating. It is frustrating, to wrap up the opening day with a 2.5 seconds’ gap to the front runners. There are many places where you are gearing from first gear and in these parts of the track, we lose a lot of time. In this area, we must improve significantly for tomorrow. Hopefully we are able to sort out some of these weak points to qualify for Superpole 2. For the race, however, I still have to learn a lot at this track.”
#ItalianWorldSBK – Free Practice Combined Results (FP1/FP2):
1 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 1´46.229 (FP2)
2 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´46.694 +0.465 (FP2)
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´47.125 +0.896 (FP2) 13 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 1´48.766 +2.537 (FP2)
The series’ round five, however, is an absolutely new terrority for the World Superbike rookie.
Stefan Bradl has never done a lap aboard a race bike at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari thus far. Therefore, the 27-year-old from Germany faces a big challenge ahead of him for this weekend’s Italian round. Over the course during one lap, the Imola track includes a mixture of fast and flowing sections and several chicanes with typical stop-and-go character. In addition, there are several blind corners and hard breaking areas in downhill sections. Bradl has been listening to his Superbikes colleagues before heading to Imola but on all sides, he just heard about the most physically demanding race track on the calendar. Therefore, Friday morning’s first free practice will be very important for the further course of the weekend.
The FIM Superbike World Championship’s calendar contains 13 rounds including one race on Saturday and Sunday each. The race bikes are based on production Superbikes. All race will be broadcasted live on Austrians channel ServusTV. The programme ist to be viewed in free TV in the entire German speaking area of Central Europe.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2):
“I’m looking forward to the Italian round this weekend. The weather here is usually nice and warm. So, I hope it will be this weekend too. I have never been in Imola before. I, therefore, have no experience at this track at all. In this respect, it will be a huge challenge because I heard that the circuit is very challenging with several blind corners and many different elevation changes. Obviously, it will not be an easy task to find the right line straight away. But as always, I will try and do my best to get familiarized to the track as quick as possible during the first session and continue in this way with every further exits.”
Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari – Streckeninformationen:
Länge: 4.936 Meter
Kurven: 22 (13 Links / 9 Rechts)
WorldSBK Beste Superpole: 1´46.289 (2014)
WorldSBK Rundenrekord: 1´46.707 (2015)
After a strong sixth place on Saturday, the 27-year-old Superbike rider had to be satisifed with tenth in the second Assen race.
On Sunday, conditions were similar to the previous day: bright skies but still much to cold temperatures for this season. Stefan Bradl started from third in the front row due to the new regulations regarding the grid positions for the second race during a weekend. Based on the results after race one, Bradl moved forward to the order after he came home in sixth. However, he couldn’t take benefit from it and unlike Saturday afternoon, the Honda rider didn’t experience a thrilling race two in Assen.
The Superbike World Championship continues in two weeks in Italy’s Imola.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 10th – Championship position 12 (35 points):
“Today’s race was not quite as exciting as yesterday’s. Firstly, I unfortunately could not take advantage from third position on the grid because I already lost some positions at the start. On the other hand, we went into today’s race with a different setting for the front. So, it took a few laps to get adapted to it. During this stage, I probably missed a better result because I just needed to long to adapt to the changed situation in terms of the bike’s handling. But the decision in favour of the changed setting was correct anyway because the performance of the front tyre didn’t last over the entire distance yesterday.”
“Overall, Assen was once again a curious weekend. The technical situation remains quite unclear. In this regard, we must look that we are already getting more order for Imola. Hopefully we will be better and more constant on this. Apart from the fact that my race was already gone after the initial stages, it was ok. But as shown by the result of my team mate Nicky, you can recognize that the bike doesn’t allow more at the moment. This is really a pity and also a little gruelling.”
#AssenWorldSBK – Race 2 Results (21 Laps):
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 33´48.345
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +0.025
3 Chaz DAVIES / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +5.077 10 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +24.693
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 195
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 131
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 111 12 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 35
The 27-year-old Honda rider stormed to sixth place in Saturady’s first Assen race which means his best WorldSBK result thus far.
Despite nice sunshine on Saturday in the northern part of the Netherlands, warm winter clothing’s were necessary because the temperatures were cold again all day long. A fact that didn’t affect Stefan Bradl. On the contrary, he showed up really hot in an action-packed and competitive race. Whereas things didn’t go to his expectations in Superpole1, Bradl qualified for 16th down the order, he shone at the start and found himself racing in ninth position just after a couple of corner during the opening lap.
From this point, the WorldSBK rookie was out for a top 8 finish at any time. The decisive factor was his consistent pace and a faultless ride throughout the entire distance of 21 laps. During the final laps, Bradl gained two more positions from other riders and crossed the line in a remarkable sixth place, his best race result in FIM Superbike World Championship so far. This success give some extra boost and motivation for the second race on Sunday at lunch time at the world-famous TT Circuit in Assen, especially since Bradl will start in third from the front row due to the new regulations.
The season’s eight race is also to watch live via Austrian’s broadcaster ServusTV. Whilst the start of the race is scheduled for 1:00 pm again, the channel’s programme starts with extensive pre-reports 30 minutes’ earlier.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 6th – World Championship position 11th (29 points):
“I’m very happy with today’s sixth place and I’m also pleased with my performance in terms of riding, which was really very strong. The race started with a good start as I left the line in such a great way, as well as I was very strong and aggressive during the early stages. I was riding over the limits, more than the bike permitted actually. But these risks and all efforts have paid off so, I was able to open a gap to the riders behind me and could control it till the line. I’m very happy about this result which is also enormously important with regard to the starting position in the front row for tomorrow.”
“This feeling of success came at the right time, even if it happened a bit unexpected actually. In addition, I’ve benefited a bit from the race, honestly. Nevertheless, I take this sixth place and these ten points. Hopefully we can take another step forward tomorrow too. There has been a lot happening recently, as well as a lot of things are going not the right way in the background. We had some meetings that hopefully will bring more clarity for the future. But first I look forward to race two tomorrow. Hopefully we’re able to take benefits from our front row start.”
#AssenWorldSBK – Race 1 Classification after 21 Laps:
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 33´37.082
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaku ZX-10R / +4.501
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +17.673 6 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +33.530
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 170
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 111
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 97 11 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 29
The 27-year-old WorldSBK rookie completed Friday’s free practice sessions in P13.
Round four of this year’s FIM Superbike World Championship got underway in dry but too cold temperatures for this season. Stefan Bradl got an updated version of the Honda engine though which was initially planned for a later date this year. However, an engine break down during the Aragon warm up earlier this month caused this early action. Apart from this, the Honda rider endured a difficult start into the weekend in the northern part of the Netherlands.
Towards the end of FP1 this morning, Bradl crashed as the rear wheel suddenly slipped away. By the afternoon, however, he already had checked off this setback and Bradl was able to improve his feeling with the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 Superbike slightly which was underlined by a significantly improved lap time although he missed to go through Superpole2 by just 0.189 seconds.
Both races of the weekend will be broadcasted live on Austrian’s channel ServusTV. The programme is available on FreeTV in the entire German speaking area and starts on Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 pm respectively.
“This morning we started with a new engine version into the weekend but we endured a few issues that required some extra work. We were able to sort them out for the afternoon session but we now have to work on the feeling and confidence with the rear which I miss at the moment. Of course, that’s not the way we wanted to start into the weekend but hopefully we’ll able to make some more progress tomorrow.”
#AssenWorldSBK – Combined Free Practice Times FP1/FP2:
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´35.383 (FP2)
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 1´35.495 +0.112 (FP2)
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´35.532 +0.149 (FP2) 13 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 1´36.459 +1.076 (FP2)
#AssenWorldSBK Time Schedule for Saturday, April 29th 2017 (CET)
08:45 – 09:10 FP3
10:30 – 10:45 Superpole 1
10:55 – 11:10 Superpole 2
13:00 – Race 1 (21 Laps – 81.786 km)
The German WorldSBK rider looks forward to the Dutch event, a destination which is particular for him.
This weekend’s round four in the northern part of the Netherlands is somewhat of a second home race for Stefan Bradl. First, of course, due to its close location to Germany but foremost since his Red Bull Honda WorldSBK Team is based in the Netherlands.
For Bradl, the Aragon round earlier this month ended with mixed emotions. After a brave ride to ninth during Saturday’s race he finished in twelfth the day after. A one-day testing on Monday straight after the race weekend has brought some positive findings. Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Honda rider heads now to Assen where he knows the track very well as well as he can look back to some glory days there when qualified for a Moto2™ pole position and for front row starts in MotoGP™ two times. His best race result at the famous TT Circuit was a sixth place aboard the MotoGP™ Honda back in 2013.
The FIM Superbike World Championship’s calendar includes 13 events, each with one race on Saturday and Sunday. The bikes are based on production Superbikes with 1000cc. All races of the series will be broadcasted live on Austrian’s channel ServusTV, available in Free-TV in the entire German speaking area.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2):
“I’ve always liked Assen. Therefore, I’m looking forward to round four this weekend. In addition, it will be again an important race, not only for the team, but also for us riders. Our intention is to do better than last time and after the somewhat longer break it’s good to jump on the bike again. But, hopefully, the weather will not too unfriendly to us in order to take most benefit from practice sessions to set up the bike for this fast and flowing track. Assen is completely different track to that ones where we already raced this year. Let’s see how it will work at all. Nevertheless, I hope that we will take a step forward.”
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