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German MotoGP: Stefan Bradl: Right tyres, 'wrong' bike

"Unfortunately the mechanics had an issue with the rear shocks and they ran out of time to change the front forks for dry settings" - Stefan Bradl.
Home star Stefan Bradl was the only rider on the front five rows of the grid to choose the correct tyres for the start of Sunday's German MotoGP.

While 14 of his rivals were left queueing at the end of pit lane after pulling in to switch to their dry bikes, the LCR Honda rider took an uncontested race lead of several seconds on the opening lap.

But it still all went wrong for the former Moto2 champion, who finished outside the points.

Unfortunately for Bradl, while he had chosen slick tyres on the grid, parts of his bike - including the suspension - still had a wet set-up and, with hindsight, he should have joined the others in swapping to his fully dry bike and starting from pit lane.

Instead he lost the lead to pit-lane starter Marc Marquez within six laps, was down to ninth by mid-race distance and 16th at the chequered flag.

"We had a problem on the grid and decided to change to the dry setting but unfortunately the mechanics had an issue with the rear shocks and they ran out of time to change the front forks for dry settings,” explained Bradl, who had qualified second on the grid and was aiming for a first podium of the year.

“At the time I thought that because the lower part of the circuit was wet and the upper part dry that maybe this is actually the right setting. So when everyone entered into the pits to change bikes I decided to go to the grid.

“At that moment there is so much going through your head and the last thing I thought was that starting from my grid position was a huge advantage over starting from the pitlane but at the end it wasn't an advantage.

“Unfortunately my front fork was [too soft and] always bottoming. I wasn't able to brake and unfortunately my mistake was that I didn't change my bike like the other riders did.

“All weekend we were strong and had good pace but the race was a disaster. All the rest of the weekend we had a good balance with the bike and did well but we didn't score the points."

The result comes at a bad time for Bradl whose future is already uncertain with persistent rumours that the former Moto2 champion has fallen out of favour from HRC and that the manufacturer is pressuring LCR to look elsewhere for a rider.

Bradl even admitted to German media that a step back to Moto2 is even being considered but asked about such a move on Sunday he made it would be a last resort.

"It will not be an easy situation for me now but I think that everyone can see that I have good speed and that even though we didn't get the points that our potential wasn't too bad. In the paddock everything is possible but I will try to stay in MotoGP and I think that I deserve a place. I think that it will probably be in August [when can confirm something]."

Tagged as: Honda , Bradl

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July 14, 2014 4:30 PM

@JimmyTheRealOne I think Firefly is talking about the whole package including all the personnel working for the team, not the bike alone. In other words Tech3 as a team is more competitive than LCR.

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