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Bradl: “This will take some time to sink in”

Bradl: “This will take some time to sink in”

The German rider gave a press conference on Saturday in Valencia after he was confirmed as the 2011 Moto2 World Champion.

Stefan Bradl was finally confirmed as the 2011 Moto2 World Champion at Valencia on Saturday, taking his first title and becoming the first German World Champion since Dirk Raudies took the 125cc crown in 1993.

The Viessmann Kiefer Racing rider, who came into this weekend 23 points ahead of Marc Márquez, became the youngest ever German World Champion by virtue of the Spaniard’s withdrawal from the GP and was able to begin celebrating his title during the qualifying session.

Later in the afternoon Bradl gave a press conference in which he discussed his achievement, and began by saying: “I have to say thank you to my team, to my sponsor, and to my family at home. I think everyone can understand you need some time to absorb something like this and I’m very, very happy!”

Talking about the manner in which he was confirmed Champion, Bradl said: “It was a bit strange because normally you win the Championship in one particular moment, like when you cross the finish line, and this is a bit different but it doesn’t matter.”

“I think Germany needed a World Champion and I’m so proud that it’s me, because I think it was 18 years since the last German World Champion. During the qualifying session I tried to concentrate on myself and we already had a good bike this weekend, a good feeling on it, and everything is working really well so far. To be honest I wanted to have pole position and my goal for tomorrow is to win the race, just because everything is now so free and I can just enjoy the race. I’ll try to win and then celebrate this as well as we can!”

Commenting on the closeness of the battle between himself and Márquez in the latter half of the season, Bradl continued: “I think everybody has enjoyed this Moto2 season. It was a very good battle in the end between Marc and me and I think there hasn’t been a single race which has not been exciting. Sometimes as a rider you think ‘Oh f***! Another race like that!’, and you just want to go away and do your own race, but in this class everything is just so close.”

“I’m sorry for Marc he had that crash in Sepang and was not able to race in Malaysia or here, and so the Championship is now done on Saturday. I also have to congratulate him because he has had a great rookie season. It was a great battle, and I just need to find the right words…”

It was following the Grand Prix of Japan that Bradl lost the lead to his Spanish rival for the first time in the campaign, and Bradl admitted that he knew the final rounds were going to be a tough scrap.

“To be honest before Motegi I didn’t think about the Championship because I wanted to just race,” he explained. “We struggled a little bit in Aragón, and when I had that big advantage in the Championship for sure you try to win every race and you try to do your best, but in the very back of your head there is something telling you that you have a very big advantage in the Championship. I’m not a rider who ever got used to winning Championships and to winning every race, so for sure I thought about it, but in the end I was in a good condition in every session in every race and when I lost the lead at Motegi I thought it was definitely going to be very, very difficult.”

“Still, I thought there were three races to go so you never give up and just do your best and at that point I said to myself it didn’t matter, all or nothing, I just didn’t think about the Championship any more, just about doing my best. The race in Australia was very good from my side, just a stupid mistake on the last lap that I made. In Malaysia I think that was the change in the Championship, when Marc also started to think…”

The support of his father Helmut, a former 250cc World Championship runner-up, has been pivotal in Stefan’s career.

“In my opinion he is also World Champion now,” said the Moto2 Champion. “For me that is a point which is very deep inside because it’s now exactly 20 years after my father finished runner-up, and I think there are not so many father-son combinations in the paddock who were World Champion and runner-up. That is something very special for me and he is the biggest part of my life, he has supported me from my first moments in racing. My whole family has been behind me the whole time, so thanks to them.”

The significance back home in Germany of his achievement will not be lost on Bradl, who added: “You all know that Formula 1 is very popular in Germany, with Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher. We have great sporting talents, but I think they are all following MotoGP and are all really excited about it! I think that’s a great feeling to have my name, Stefan Bradl, as the World Champion on two wheels in Germany. I think there will be another party and big celebrations in Germany, and for sure I’ll try to meet everybody!”

Moto2, 2011, GRAN PREMIO GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Stefan Bradl, Viessmann Kiefer Racing

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