Bradl gives LCR renewed optimism

Thursday, 10 May 2012

As the first German in the MotoGP™ class since 2007, rookie Stefan Bradl has not only given his home fans something to cheer about, but also his team LCR Honda MotoGP renewed optimism.

Bradl, who won the 2011 Moto2™ championship, and became the youngest ever German to win a title in the GP class, has so far proved to be an astute investment from LCR team’s CEO Lucio Cecchinello, after beating some established factory riders in all three races so far and establishing himself an impressive seventh in the world championship rankings with 24 points.

The youngster’s record makes for good reading in all three races this season, as he has finished higher than his qualifying position every time. In Qatar, he moved from ninth into eight, in Jerez from eighth to a MotoGP career-best seventh, and in Estoril from 11th to ninth. And considering the line-up on the grid this is no mean feat.

In his maiden race he was already tussling with the three Ducatis of Héctor Barberá, Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi for sixth place. Despite coming off third best in that fight, he had clearly taken some valuable pointers into the next round, as he once again fought with, and this time got the better of Hayden. Estoril may have been the worst positional result so far, but will have done wonders for his confidence, as he was involved in a race long battle with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies for eighth place.

The young German from Bavaria remains coy about his achievements, stating that he knows he is on a steep learning curve, and that there is still heaps of potential to come from both him and the bike. And despite knowing all the tracks from the Moto2 championship, Bradl has explained that he is re-learning them in some respect, as they all "seem shorter" – the jump from around 150hp to over 250hp clearly not going unnoticed!

LCR endured a tough season last year with popular Spaniard and 2010 Moto2 champion Toni Elías failing to get to grips with the Honda-Bridgestone combination. So to put the team’s faith in yet another Moto2 champion may have looked like a big gamble at first, yet Bradl seems well and truly on the path to proving any doubters wrong.

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