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