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Valencia MotoGP Test: Bradl unimpressed by Kayaba suspension

“It took a long time to at least get some good laps on it. Unfortunately it was not working as good as we expected” - Stefan Bradl.
Reading between the lines, Stefan Bradl will not be pleased if his new Forward Yamaha team switches from Ohlins to Kayaba suspension for MotoGP 2015.

Ohlins is used by all of the factory MotoGP teams and was present on the Forward bike that Aleix Espargaro took to a pole, podium and top Open class honours this season.

But in a situation similar to Gresini - which was the only Honda team using Showa suspension in recent seasons - Forward is seriously considering a suspension change.

Bradl and fellow new signing Loris Baz duly tried Kayaba on Wednesday's final day at the Valencia test. Former LCR Honda rider Bradl suffered one fall on his way to a time of 1m 32.784s, putting him 15th fastest and half-a-second slower than his Monday best with Ohlins.

“Today we tested for the first time the new suspension. It took a long time to at least get some good laps on it. Unfortunately it was not working as good as we expected. Now we will see what will be the future,” said Bradl.

It is unclear if Bradl knew about the possible suspension change when he signed for Forward, but speaking generally about his new machinery the German added: “It is a really big change from Honda to Yamaha but it feels good. I also need to gain more confidence with this bike, which is different from the one I was used to ride.

"This afternoon I crashed, but fortunately without consequences. The first impression is positive and I look forward to continue working on the bike in two weeks [in a private test at Jerez].”

Rookie team-mate Baz, switching to MotoGP from World Superbike, did set his fastest test lap on the final day. The tall Frenchman was 19th, but 0.7s from Bradl and only a fraction behind quickest rookie Maverick Vinales (Suzuki).

“It was a good start, the first day we focused on adapting the bike to my size. The second day I tested the limit on the wet, crashing twice but the feeling was positive. Today I was already more confident, even if I need to know better the Bridgestone tyres and the carbon brakes. We will continue to work in Jerez.”

Forward Yamaha will be on track alongside the likes of Suzuki at Jerez from November 26-27.

Tagged as: Loris Baz , stefan bradl , Forward

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November 13, 2014 10:30 AM

When you think how much it costs to run a MotoGP team and all the effort that goes in, it would be really stupid to hamstring the riders with inferior suspension, even if Kayaba bring some money to the party. I hope for Bradl's sake that Forward stick with Ohlins.


November 15, 2014 6:08 AM

Bradl just can't pull a trick. @some1. You make it sound so easy. Bradl has to learn to ride a new bike. If he has to waste his off season developing a suspension component he will be miles behind the 8 ball when 2015 starts. Bad move by Forward, or shoud that be Backward racing.

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