Following a promising MotoGP debut in Qatar, LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl hopes to make a similar impression as the championship moves to Europe at Jerez in Spain this weekend.
The German rider was lying in sixth place on his RC213V in Qatar until he was overhauled late in the race by Ducati's Nicky Hayden and Alvaro Bautista on the Gresini Honda.
The reigning Moto world champion finished ahead of factory stars Valentino Rossi and Ben Spies to take eighth position in his maiden MotoGP race, although Bradl is expecting a tougher challenge at Jerez.
Tenth fastest during the pre-season test at the Spanish circuit on his satellite Honda behind Bautista, Bradl says he is 'ready' to get down to business this weekend.
“I am really looking forward to the first round in Europe. We have tested the bike there in March gathering useful data for the race weekend and I was comfortable with the bike's overall package,” he said.
“I am happy to be back in Europe because we return to the standard time schedule and the atmosphere especially in Spain is very warm. I like the track even if I feel the difference between the lower classes and the MotoGP bike: it seems that the track is smaller because the riding style is different.
“The race will be also harder, physically speaking, as there are no long straights and just a few 'relax points' along the track, but I feel ready.”
Bradl qualified in pole position for last year's Moto2 race at Jerez and finished fifth in the race.