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20 days ago
By motorsport.com

Hernandez: "Much more sense for Bradl to step in for Marc"

Marc Marquez' crew chief Santi Hernandez thinks the HRC test rider should get the nod - if needed - over Dovizioso at the start of 2021

After undergoing a new operation on his badly fractured right arm in December, it’s likely that eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez is going to be forced to miss some of the opening rounds of the 2021 MotoGP™ campaign.

Speaking to Motorsport.com’s Spanish MotoGP Podcast, Marc Marquez’ crew chief Santi Hernandez thinks it makes “much more sense” to have Stefan Bradl – HRC test rider – back on the bike if the number 93 is to miss some races, rather than former Honda, Yamaha and Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso. The latter is, of course, taking a sabbatical in 2021 and has been linked to stand-in for his former title rival in the Repsol Honda ranks.

“I would not see it normal for Honda to sign Dovizioso to replace Marc,” said Hernandez. “If during the year you have considered the option and incorporate him [Bradl] as a test rider and in the end you have ruled him out - because, among other things, Stefan has done a great job – well, I wouldn't understand that you signed that rider for three races.

“It would make much more sense for that substitute to be Bradl, because he is the one who has the best sensations with the bike. He is the one who has understood things that happen in races and that are only understood in a Grand Prix, because he has the speed and because he is the tester who is testing things to improve the bike, who better than him to replace Marc?”

Bradl’s form when standing in for the 2019 World Champion was impressive. Two top 10s were notched up by the experienced German rider in the last six races and the final round in Portimao saw Bradl claim a magnificent P7, a race which saw him cross the line just two seconds off Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and ahead of teammate Alex Marquez.

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