On Sunday, Stefan Bradel rode a Japanese factory machine for his second round of the season with unusual problems. Landsberger Schrötter is in an upward trend.
What is the Catalonia course in Barcelona for Formula 1 Meaning, for motorcyclists, it’s the racetrack in Jerez, Spain. “If the bike is running at Jerez, you are well prepared for the whole season,” says Stefan Bradel, who should know. The 32-year-old has been racing the first MotoGP class since 2012 and was a test driver for the Factory Honda team for several years. Bradl is allowed to install a factory machine for the second time this season in the Andalusian city on Sunday and receives the allowance card as planned.
In the third race of the season in Argentina, the driver from Zahle stood in the Eichach-Friedberg area in place of the injured regular driver Marc Marquez. With the nineteenth place, he missed the points. His goal in second appearance of the season: “If I can get to the top 15 and get a point in the world championships, I’ll be very satisfied. Just jumping in and then finishing in the top 10 is simply my imagination,” Bradl says.
Honda is looking forward to catching up
The part-time driver realistically assesses his chances in a strong field of drivers. Bradle is responsible for the development of the motorcycle. New parts for the machine are tested throughout the year to help the Honda race team catch up. Effort and revenue from a famous manufacturer do not mix. With Spaniard Marc Marquez and compatriot Paul Espargaro, the Japanese may have the strongest driver duo on the field. But Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) and Spaniard Alex Rins (Suzuki) lead the championship standings with 69 points each. Eight-time world champion Marc Marquez (11th place) and Paul Espargaro (12th) follow so far.
“Honda is not where we want to be yet,” says the 32-year-old, explaining the reasons for the deficit despite the Japanese’s big financial outlay. “Honda has released an all-new prototype for this season, which we tested extensively but couldn’t modify for the race weekend.”
Bradl’s 200th appearance in the World Cup
Long distances in a large company are not necessarily beneficial. Smaller teams can work more efficiently. The split of the weekend in Spain is clear: regular drivers must fight for championship points up front. The German fellow drives, but primarily tests the materials. “There are new parts coming out Japan, which we then have to determine first,” says Zahlinger. Incidentally, the Moto2 World Champion from the 2011 season – at the time before Marc Marquez – completed his 200th World Championship commitment, and more than 100 of them were in MotoGP.” I spent a lot of time there and am also a little proud of that. Every motorcyclist wants to be in MotoGP. The competition is huge, nothing offers you.”
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One notch down, Marcel Schrötter is a Moto2 regular. After some initial difficulties, the pilot from Pflugdorf managed to do this Landsberg recently greased. Last Sunday in Portugal he just missed the podium. Coming from fourth in Portimão, the 29-year-old is aiming for at least an equally good result for himself and his crew in southern Spain. In order to be at his best for Sunday’s required 23 lap race at 12:20pm, the German went home for a few days to prepare himself with targeted physiotherapy. “Jerez is a circuit where all the drivers are very fast, so every session and every lap is actually going to be very important,” says Schrotter, who is eighth in the championship standings after five races with 31 points.
Schrötter has problems in qualifying
Pflugdorfer’s problem: In qualifying, things rarely went as desired, so the driver usually had to fight for positions in the driver’s package. The Liqui Moly Intact GP team from Memmingen, as well as the Bradl’s Honda team, are bringing new parts to Andalusia. Which proves that Jerez is one of the 21 most important races in the motorcycle calendar.