A strange fall robbed Stefan Bradl all hopes to turn his strong performances during all practices sessions this weekend into a countable race result on Saturday afternoon.
In contrast to Friday, the weather situation improved significantly with less winds and more pleasant temperatures during day time. So, race day one at the Portuguese round with the Superpoles, which decided the starting positions, took place under good conditions. The only one exception were cold winds in the morning when teams and riders went out on track for the final free practice.
Stefan Bradl, however, headed with high hopes into heat one at the marvellous but enormously demanding circuit, located in the south of Portugal. After the Honda rider made it through Superpole2 straight from Friday’s FP1 and FP2, which was for the first time this season, Bradl also succeeded during this timed session to qualify for P8 on the starting grid and in doing so, he was able to confirm his and the team’s increasing level of performance. From this position, he also left the line in a great way to gain two positions before entering the first corner and riding bravely in the first group during the opening laps before a non-controlling slide on the rear finished his race much too early. In the unavoidable fall, Bradl hit the ground with his right wrist heavily but remained unhurt expect for a slight bruise.
The second race of the weekend is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, starting at 4:00 pm CET too. Austrian’s channel ServusTV will start its programme already 30 minutes early, including a detailed pre-coverage from Portugal. By the way, the programme is to be viewed in the entire German speaking area in Free-TV.
#6 Stefan BRADL (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2), NC – Championship position 14 (67 points):
“It’s a pity, because the top ten were in our possibilities today for sure. I think, that I would have been able to do well throughout the whole race. But, my fall in lap three has denied us this. At this moment, the rear tyre started to slide at turn 14 and I’m eternally slipped for a long time. This was a really strange situation, because I had absolutely no change to do anything. In the end, I flew over the handlebars. Luckily, I’m fine except for some pain in my wrist. However, I’m more thinking about the cause for this strange slide. We need to clarify it in detail.”
“Apart from this, my start was great and I felt that much comfortable straight away. So, this was why I pushed a lot and I was riding very determined, of course. Beyond that, I was able to stay with my group, riding in sixth position. However, we struggled with some spinning from the beginning but at this moment the rear wheel did not stop sliding. This outcome, obviously, is very annoying because our performance was really strong till that point. Luckily there is the next chance tomorrow already, which hopefully we well better use. We will definitely try it.”
#PORWorldSBK – Results Race 1 (20 Laps):
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 34´38.383
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +6.189
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducait Panigale R / +10.166
NC #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 406
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 311
3 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 296
14 #6 Stefan BRADL / GER / Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / 67