#2017Suzuka8hours: “I’M WELL PREPARED FOR MY FIRST ENDURANCE RACE”

During an official three-day test this week, the 27-year-old Superbike rider has collected many positive impressions for his debut in the endurance classic in Japan.

After last weekend’s US Superbike round, Stefan Bradl has travelled immediately from California to Japan where from Tuesday to Thursday a final three-day testing was scheduled for this year’s edition of the legendary «Suzuka 8hours». Bradl, however, was because of the tight arrival only the last two days in action with his F.C.C. TSR Honda Team. But the experienced rider mastered quickly many unknown things such as missing track experience as well as the move from Pirelli to Bridgestone tyres and some more other different aspects. In addition, Bradl’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, as he is racing with in Superbike World Championship, and the Fireblade for the Suzuka race have not much in common. But with the conclusion of the test, the former Moto2™ Champion feels well prepared to perform at highest level during the last weekend in July. By the way, Bradl will race together with Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter and Frenchman Randy de Puniet in the factory-assisted Japanese team.

The «Suzuka 8hours» has been a fixed date in the calendar of the FIM Endurance World Championship for many years. With the venue at the Suzuka Circuit, just around the corner of all the famous Japanese manufacturers, this event is of particular importance of two wheels racing. This year, the eight hours are set to celebrates its 40th anniversary too.

Stefan BRADL:

“From my point of view, it was a very interesting test in Suzuka even though coming straight from California and a hasty return trip to Europe, it was a quite stressful week. In any case, it was a great experience for me to get known to the Suzuka Circuit as well as to see how things are going for this event for the first time. Overall, I’m satisfied with my performance during these two days. Towards the end of the second day, we made changes to the bike which allowed me to set much faster lap times. But honestly speaking, it took a certain number of laps to find the way around this unknown track and on the other hand to cope with that many riders on track at the same time. In addition, the change to different tyres compared to that ones we are using in the Superbike series as well as the bike itself is very different from my Fireblade. So, this means that these two days were filled with lots of work in hot and humidity conditions which made it all together enormously demanding too. But, in the end the results were very positive and I think that I’m well prepared for my first eight-hour race in Suzuka.”

#2017Suzuka8hours: STEFAN BRADL DEBUTS AT THE LEGENDARY ENDURANCE RACE

Instead of going into holidays after the last race prior to the summer break last weekend in Laguna Seca, the 27-year-old German is going on a world trip, flying from California straight to Japan.

With the prestigious eight-hour race at the Suzuka Circuit, Stefan Bradl is facing a completely new challenge ahead of him. Bradl joins Dominique Aegerter and Randy de Puniet in the factory-assisted F.C.C. TSR Honda team, riding a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. Teammate Aegerter from Switzerland already competed four times in Suzuka and he finished twice on the podium. In 2014 in second place with the same team. Therefore, the 26-year-old from Bern will be a valuable support for Bradl, who does not have any endurance experience and track knowledge from the challenging Suzuka Circuit so far. During a test this week, Bradl will definitely get a first taste of what he will expect at the meanwhile traditional date for the «Suzuka 8hours» during the last weekend in July.

The «Suzuka 8hours» has been a fixed date in the calendar of the FIM Endurance World Championship for many years. With the venue at the Suzuka Circuit, just around the corner of all the famous Japanese manufacturers, this event is of particular importance in two wheels racing. This year, the eight hours are set to celebrates its 40th anniversary too.

Stefan BRADL:

“I’m already curious about what I will tackle in Suzuka. Until now, I have not got that much information and I also don’t know many things about this event in general. Fortunately, with Dominique (Aegerter) we have an Suzuka experienced rider in our team who has been part of this event for several times already. Beyond that, a three-day test this week will be a fundamental base for a good preparation. Our team will test all three days, starting on Tuesday to Thursday whilst I will be there only for the last two days since my arrival in Suzuka is on Tuesday evening. In any case, it is a completely new experience for me as I don’t know the track too. I’m very curious about that fact and I think the way of approaching such an event differs fundamentally from the races as I’m used to. But for now, I don’t want to speculate further, but led the whole thing to me. Our test will be very revealing, for sure.”

#USWorldSBK: “THE RACE WAS DEFINITELY BETTER THAN IT LOOKS ON PAPER”

After the conclusion of a hot Laguna Seca weekend, the 27-year-old Superbike rookie was even more pleased about his performance during Sunday’s heat two.

Compared to the previous day, the temperatures were not as hot on Sunday afternoon. This fact had a positive effect to the track’s conditions, which was confirmed by a faster pace throughout the entire pack. In contrast to Saturday, Stefan Bradl also started much more aggressively into this season’s race No 16. The Honda rider already won two positions during the opening lap before he continued to make his way forward. Then, he was equal in terms of race pace with both Yamaha’s from Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark for most parts of the 25-lap distance.

The FIM Superbike World Championship heads into a six-week summer break now. The next meeting mid of August at the Lausitzring is Stefan Bradl’s home race. But for the Honda rider, holidays get started just at the beginning of August because prior to this, Bradl takes part at the prestigious “Suzuka 8 Hours” endurance race in Japan later this month.

#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 11th – Championship position 13th (64 points):

“Today’s race was definitely better than it looks on paper. Although I came home only in eleventh again, I was able to give more and also to fight even more, I could pass other riders by myself. This was fun. In addition, the gap to the overall winner’s time was lower. The race was a bit faster actually today, which was also the case for me, as the grip level was a bit better. We were also pleased about that fact that we could improve our package slightly, compared to yesterday. I had more confidence with the front and therefore I was able to compensate our yesterday’s issues during the initial stages quite well.”

“Most of all, however, I’m glad that I could stay with the two Yamahas for a long time and also sometimes to fight with them. Somewhat of that kind of a success story, as we were almost for the entire distance on eye with another factory bike, came at the right time. But it is always difficult, if you have to start from P17 on the grid. Therefore, the prospects for a better performance overall have been diminished from the outset. Nevertheless, there are enough positive things we can take from this race. The weekend reviewed as a whole, it was a pity that we ran into so many problems on Friday and we also had to use three different engines. The latter was such a great setback for us. But we continued working hard and we came back on the right way on Saturday. In the end I’m not dissatisfied, how things went finally.”

“According to yesterday’s findings, we have made a few changes to the bike today which have been largely positive. However, we are still struggling with the same problem as we don’t have enough edge grip in maximum lean angle. The electronic is not working sensitive enough in this range and therefore we lose time in corner exit. For many parts of the race, I managed it quite well to compensate this lack by pushing the front harder. But as soon I started to make mistakes, I just tried to control my advantage on the riders behind me.”

#USWorldSBK – Results Race 2 (25 Laps):
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 35´03.414
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +2.887
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +4.847
11 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +36.756

WorldSBK Standings 2017:
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 341
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 282
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 226
13 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 64

#USWorldSBK: “I ENJOYED RIDING AGAIN A LOT”

From halfway point during Saturday afternoon’s heat one at the Californian Laguna Seca Raceway, the 27-year-old German Honda rider rode a determined race.

After hot temperatures on the previous days, it came not surprisingly that the first race of the series visit to the United States took place under enormous heat. For Stefan Bradl and his crew of the Red Bull Honda World Superbike team, Saturday began with a pleasing fact as the all-new engine has brought that improvements they hoped for, even if Superpole1 did not turn out perfectly. Bradl, who started from P17 on the grid, experienced a rather turbulent start, and after a cautious initial stage of the race, the Bavarian got into a significantly stronger rhythm.

The lights also will go out for race two at the Laguna Seca Raceway on Sunday at 11:00 pm CET. Austrian’s broadcaster ServusTV starts its live coverage already half an hour earlier.

#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 11th – Championship position 12th (59 points):

“Although I wasted my start pretty much, I’m really satisfied with today’s race. From halfway point, I enjoyed my ride out there to its utmost since a while. The result, however, is nothing great, but I’m happy that I was able to fight till the line and to gain one position during the last lap. In addition, another swap to a new engine has paid off. The engine we used yesterday afternoon was not rideable in terms of its configuration. With this new sealed engine, I had a better feeling straight away.”

“Nevertheless, it took a while to work on a basic setup with regards to the electronics. In this respect, but especially regarding to our tyre choice for the Superpole session, we were a bit wrong unfortunately. We opted for the harder option, but this did not give me a good feeling. Beyond that, it’s that much hard for me to take full advantage from a new tyre. This was again our handicap today, both during Superpole as well as during the opening stages of the race. This of course costs us many positions every time, while our competitors are able to use the tyre better in full lean angle and they also have a better drive in acceleration in corner exit thanks to more grip. At first, however, I left the line badly because I could not gear into neutral at the starting position after the warm up lap. Therefore, the clutch became somewhat hotter until the lights went out. Apart from these circumstances, I started somehow well, though. But it was impossible to make up positions until the first corner, and then I was a bit intruded there.”

“During the first half of the race, I was just riding along instead of being more aggressive. The rear tyre did not produce anything that I could use to my advantage. But as soon as the tyres started to drop by the other riders, I noticed that I still have better reserves in this regard for the closing stages. I was able to close the gap to the riders in front of me quickly and then to fight with them. From this moment, the race was fun and I’m happy that I could enjoy the second part of the race to my utmost. We experience a difficult phase at the moment and such highlights are simply good for me as well as for the entire team. We definitely can build on these positive things from today’s race and we also try to carry this momentum with us tomorrow.”

#USWorldSBK – Result Race 1 (25 Laps):
1 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 35´14.812
2 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +1.202
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +5.798
11 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +44.961

WorldSBK Standings 2017:
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 316
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 262
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 210
12 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 59

#USWorldSBK: PROMISING START WITH NINTH FASTEST ON FRIDAY MORNING IN CALIFORNIA

At his comeback at the Laguna Seca Raceway after four years, Stefan Bradl got back quickly with the tricky Corkscrew.

The season’s round eight at the outback of Monterey at California’s Pacific coastline got underway in wonderful summer weather. For Stefan Bradl, however, the opening day was a rollercoaster as it happened many time this year already. After a pleasingly start with a strong FP1 this morning, a difficult afternoon clouded the mood. Bradl and his crew were forced to change the engine in the break between both sessions but the spare engine caused many problems and beyond that, Bradl had to overcome an early fall in the famous Corkscrew. The later, however, did not further affect today’s outcome though the Honda rider could not improve his lap time and therefore qualification begins for him with Saturday’s Superpole1.

As usual, both races of the weekend will be broadcasted by Austrian’s channel ServusTV. The live coverage, by the way which is to see in free TV within the entire German speaking area, starts on Saturday and Sunday with half an hour earlier to the scheduled race start at 11:00 pm CET respectively.

#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), FP1: P9 – 1´24.928 / FP2: P16 – 1´25.595:

“The first session this morning was ok. It was actually quite a promising start to the weekend. I had a good feeling straight away and I was able to get used to the track quickly. Then, we tried different tyres. FP1 was really good. During the second session, the conditions were much hotter. But this did not further bother us. The problem was rather a new engine, which we had to swap during the break. With this spare engine, the engine break did not work properly as well as a few other things. Apart from this, I made a mistake immediately after the session got started.”

“This fall, when I lost the front, was nothing bad. Nevertheless, it affected somehow our remaining practice time. FP2 was again characterized by many electronic problems. But that was not all, because we must swap the engine for tomorrow again. This means, that we have to use a new sealed engine from our allocation. In any case, it is a little annoying because after the good start this morning we ran into many problems again. Our pace in FP1 was really strong while the feeling was less good with the other engine. Hopefully we will be able to make a turn-around with the new sealed engine tomorrow so that we can continue there where we left this morning.”

#USWorldSBK – Free Practice Combined Results FP1/FP2:
1 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 1´23.425 (FP1)
2 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´23.436 +0.011 (FP2)
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 1´23.778 +0.353 (FP2)
14 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 1´24.928 +1.503 (FP1)

#USWorldSBK – Time Schedule for Saturday July 8th, 2017 (CET):
18:15 – 18:40 FP3
20:00 – 20:15 Superpole 1
20:25 – 20:40 Superpole 2
23:00 – Race 1 (25 Laps – 90.250 km)

#USWorldSBK: “LAGUNA SECA IS A VERY SPECIAL PLACE FOR ME”

At the famous Laguna Seca Raceway, the 27-year-old German WorldSBK rider returns a venue where he celebrated one of his greatest success so far.

The last edition of the US Grand Prix back in 2013 is still in great memory when Stefan Bradl delivered his strongest weekend and achieved his best results racing in MotoGP™. In his second season at that time, he conquered the top spot on the grid and he also led the race till halfway point. On the line, he just was beaten by Marc Marquez with a 2 seconds margin. For this weekend, the WorldSBK rookie is looking forward to his comeback at the Californian circuit. Aboard his Honda Fireblade SP2 of the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Bradl expects a lot from the last race before the summer break. The Laguna Seca Raceway, close to the cities of Monterey and Carmel at the Pacific coast line, is also the home of one of the most famous corners of all racetracks worldwide, the Corkscrew.

The calendar of the FIM Superbike World Championship includes 13 events, each with one race on Saturday and Sunday. The bikes are based on 1000cc production superbikes. All race of the series will be broadcasted live on Austrian’s channel ServusTV. The programme can be viewed in the whole German-speaking area on free TV. Please note, however, that this weekend the time difference between Central Europe and California is nine hours. Therefore, the live coverage starts at 10:30 pm.

#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2):

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Laguna Seca is a very special place for me, because I have that much nice memories from this track back in my time in MotoGP. I will never forget the US Grand Prix in 2013 when I started from pole position and finished the race in second. I still get goose bumps remembering these days. I like the track’s incomparable layout and I also like the good atmosphere here, which is very typical for this part of the world. California and the United States at all, are always worth for a trip. But this weekend will become as particular for us because of Nicky. Laguna Seca was, so to speak, his living room. He has won two times a MotoGP race here. As a tribute to him and his fans, we will definitely give our best. In addition, it is very important for all of us to achieve good results in order to head with a soothing feeling into the summer break. I would also like to welcome Jake (Gagne) as a new team mate for this weekend and I wish him all the best for his debut on World Superbike level.”

Laguna Seca Raceway – Circuit facts:
Length 3,610 Meters
Corner: 11 (7 left / 4 right)
Website: www.mazdaraceway.com
WorldSBK Best Superpole: 1´21.811 (2014)
WorldSBK Circuit Lap Record: 1´23.403 (2014)

Time Schedule (CET):
Friday, 7 July: 18:45 – 19:45 FP1
Friday, 7 July: 23:30 – 00:30 FP2
Saturday, 8 July: 18:15 – 18:40 FP3
Saturday, 8 July: 20:00 – 20:15 SP1
Saturday, 8 July: 20:25 – 20:40 SP2
Saturday, 8 July: 23:00 Race 1 (25 Laps – 90.250 km)
Sunday, 9 July: 19:30 – 19:45 Warm Up
Sunday, 9 July: 23:00 Race 2 (25 Laps – 90.250 km)

WorldSBK Standings 2017:
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki / 296
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki / 246
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Ducati / 185
4 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Ducati / 163
5 Alex LOWES / GBR / Yamaha / 141
6 Michael van der MARK / NED / Yamaha / 115
7 Xavi FORES / SPA / Ducati / 110
8 Leon CAMIER / GBR / MV Agusta / 89
9 Jordi TORRES / SPA / BMW / 85
10 Eugene LAVERTY / IRL / Aprilia / 79
11 Román RAMOS / SPA / Kawasaki / 65
12 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Honda / 54
13 Leandro MERCADO / ARG / Aprilia / 50
14 Lorenzo SAVADORI / ITA / Aprilia / 49
15 Randy KRUMMENACHER / SWI / Kawasaki / 44

#RiminiWorldSBK: TOP TEN CONCLUDES A DIFFICULT STAY IN ITALY

For Stefan Bradl, the race weekend at the Misano circuit ended conciliatory after finishing heat two in tenth place.

As expected, the weather appeared on Sunday also in its hottest way. In another race under the heat of Italy, therefore, Stefan Bradl and his Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team rounded off the top ten. But again, things didn’t go smoothly for the 27-year-old German rider. At the start, he was able to keep his position before he could climb up the order after initial difficulties.

Till the next race, the last before the summer break, there is another three-weeks break before the series cross the Atlantic for the US round at Laguna Seca at the second weekend in July.

#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 10th – Championship position 12th (54 points):

“Today’s race was a better one, for sure, but it was not easy either! After four laps, I had a problem with the dashboard. So, this needed a few laps to find out that something was wrong with it. It was only when I realized that everything else was working ok, I was able to improve my pace slightly and finish the race without any other difficulties. P10 is not a bad result, especially after these circumstances. But on the other hand, obviously, we must look for a different direction for the next race, because this weekend was truly hard to endure for everyone.”

#RiminiWorldSBK – Results Race 2 (21 Laps):
1 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 33´40.896
2 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +1.113
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +1.285
10 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2 / +42.651

WorldSBK Standings:
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 296
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 246
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 185
12 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 54

#RiminiWorldSBK: EVENTFUL SATURDAY IN ITALY

Stefan Bradl endured an eventful first race of the weekend.

The first race day of round seven in Misano, not far from Italy’s famous Adriatic coast line, was accompanied by hot summer weather as the previous days. Stefan Bradl, who came from 18th spot on the grid, had to visit his pit crew already in the second lap because of technical issues. After a thorough check on his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, the 27-year-old German rider was able to continue the race for eleven laps but this number was too less for the race’s classification.

Misano’s heat two is also set to get started on Sunday at 1:00 pm. Austrian broadcaster ServusTV starts its coverage from the Misano World Circuit half an hour earlier.

#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), NC – Championship position 12th (48 points):

“There is not really much to say today. The race was virtually over for me already in the first lap and, although I immediately had to stop, my crew saw what was going on and made a quick fix. This allowed me to continue the race and doing ten, eleven laps in order to check if everything is working properly and to gather some data. Hopefully, things will be better tomorrow.”

#RiminiWorldSBK – Results Race 1 (21 Laps):
1 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 33´44.269
2 Alex LOWES / GBR / Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YFZ-R1 / +4.551
3 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +8.156
NC #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR SP2

WorldSBK Standings:
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 276
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 230
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 185
12 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 48

#RiminiWorldSBK: MISANO STARTS WITH TWO HALVES ON FRIDAY

Stefan Bradl and his Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team endured a so-so opening day at this weekend’s round seven in Italy.

The FIM Superbike World Championship was welcomed for its second visit to Italy this year by great summer weather at Rimini’s Adriatic coast line. Temperatures with almost 30 degrees in the air and 46 degrees on the tarmac caused grip issues at the 4.2 kilometres long Misano World Circuit in general.

But a private test here two weeks ago paid off for Stefan Bradl and his team so far as the 27-year-old German performed strong during Friday morning’s first free practice. Lap times were good enough to found himself in the range of the top ten for most of the one-hour long session though Bradl improved by 0.4 seconds with a few minutes to go. In the afternoon, however, the track was more slippery due to increased temperatures which caused a spinning rear on his Honda Superbike. In addition, electronic problems forced Bradl for a longer break in the pits which was why he couldn’t improve his lap time from FP1 finally. So, for Bradl qualifying starts with Superpole1 on Saturday morning.

Both races of the weekend are broadcasted by Austrian’s channel ServusTV. The programme, which is by the way to see in Central Europe’s entire German speaking area in Free-TV, is set to start on Saturday and Sunday 30 minutes earlier than the races get underway at 1:00 pm, including a detailed pre-show.

#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP2), FP1: P13 – 1´36.548 / FP2: P18 – 1´37.730:

“The weekend began quite busy for us. This morning, the feeling with the bike wasn’t too bad. I could feel that our test two weeks ago was helpful. Actually, we made some progress in terms of the electronics and throttle connection on the rear. This afternoon, however, we started with used tyres and obviously the lack of grip was an issue in general. But then we suffered an electronic problem which forced us to stay in the garage for a long time so, I couldn’t do as many laps. We lost many valuable time and this was why we couldn’t improve. Our potential is definitely higher because my feeling with the bike was very positive this morning. Hopefully we’re able to turn this fact in a better performance tomorrow!”

#RiminiWorldSBK – Free Practice Combined Results (FP1/FP2):
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´34.901 (FP2)
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´34.931 +0.030 (FP1)
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 1´35.151 +0.250 (FP1)
17 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 1´36.548 +1.647 (FP2)