18 August 2016
MotoGP Czech Republic: Stefan Bradl explains Austria 'chaos'
"I got the biggest chaos you can have... You go up the hill at more than 300km/h and with all the signals and alarms on the dashboard it's not a comfortable feeling" - Stefan Bradl.
Last weekend's Austrian MotoGP was definitely one to forget for the Aprilia team, with both Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista receiving jump start penalties.
Things then got even worse for Bradl when, instead of a clear message about a jump start, he saw confusing 'signals and alarms' on his dashboard, which made him fear he was on the verge of repeating an engine problem in warm-up.
"I got the biggest chaos you can have," he said. "Basically I made a jump start, like a few other riders as well. I don't know who made the first reaction, actually the lights were on quite a long time and somebody moved a little bit. It's not normal that five people jump the start. So there was something strange.
"Anyway, we got the ride-through and directly when I crossed the line to start the fourth lap I got a signal that shows an alarm and shows something crazy. We had a technical problem with the engine in warm-up, so we had to change the engine and then I thought 'oh shit, probably something wrong'.
"You go up the hill at more than 300km/h and with all the signals and alarms on the dashboard it's not a comfortable feeling. So I decided to slow down a bit to see what was happening. I was just taking care of everything [in case] something exploded.
"So anyway, the people were gone in front. I slowed down and saw Alvaro was doing the same. I saw that we had already lost contact with all the other guys, so I think 'f**k, the race is basically over now for us'. So I decided to pit in and stop the engine. Then the mechanics told me you have to go keep going and restarted the engine."
While the mechanics may have realised there was not actually a fault with the engine, it still wasn't the end of Bradl's woes. Because he had stopped at his pit box, he had not technically served the ride through penalty.
"Alvaro was about to stop as well, but the mechanics showed him 'keep going', so he did his ride-through. I stopped and had a conversation with the mechanics so it was not a pure ride-through," he said. "So at the end I got the same message again, exactly the same alarm, but this time I understood what's wrong and made my ride through."
Bradl finished the race in 19th and last.
The German, moving to WorldSBK next season, is now keen to put two bad events behind him at Brno this weekend - where he also hopes to have an Austria engine upgrade available.
"We got an engine upgrade. It was not so bad. Unfortunately, that was the engine that I couldn't use for the race because there was a technical issue. I think that we will get the same upgrade in a new engine this weekend. The engine here is important and we are okay I think, at least with one bike.
"I've had two very unlucky races. Sachsenring I missed my home race and now Austria, which was very unfortunate. I'm looking forward to finishing a race in normal conditions and then we will see. But deep in the points would be good after a difficult time."
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