Bradl might change his mind about WorldSBK if ‘I tried the Ducati’

Stefan Bradl admits a return to WorldSBK is unlikely and that it would take a very good opportunity to prise him away from his role as Repsol Honda’s MotoGP test rider.
Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda MotoGP 2022,
Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda MotoGP 2022,

Bradl’s career as a WorldSBK rider was short and difficult as he struggled aboard a Honda machine that was woefully uncompetitive during the 2017 campaign. 

Starting off the season as team-mate to the late Nicky Hayden, a former MotoGP champion in 2006, Bradl finished the season 14th in the world championship before going on to sign a deal with Repsol Honda in 2019 to become its official MotoGP test rider.

Whilst in his role as Repsol Honda test rider Bradl has also continued to ride Superbikes during private tests, which meant sharing the track with current WorldSBK champion Alvaro Bautista in 2020 and 2021, before the Spaniard returned to Ducati.

And after watching the success Bautista enjoyed in 2022, Bradl was asked whether a return to Superbike racing was appealing. 

"I sometimes talked to Alvaro about it, because we sometimes shared the track with the superbikes in private tests when he was still with Honda in the SBK 2020 and 2021," Bradl told "During this time he was not so happy. But the return to Ducati has done him good. What he did in 2022 is remarkable."

"The Superbikes, that's not my category, especially after everything I experienced in my Superbike season with Honda in 2017," added the German. 

"Sure, if I tried the Ducati I might change my mind. But currently I see myself as a Honda test rider in MotoGP. But if Honda came up with a new, powerful superbike, I would definitely take a look at it."

Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona, Catalunya WorldSBK race2, 25 September
Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona, Catalunya WorldSBK race2, 25 September

Team HRC made big improvements during the 2022 campaign with rookies Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge, although Bradl’s experience with Honda would make him a very capable rider should a change or a different Honda ride be available.

However, Bradl feels Honda is in a good position with its current WorldSBK riders, although he remains on alert should an opportunity arise. 

"I've been with HRC for almost ten years now. So I know how things work at this company," stated Bradl. "If something happens, I'm close to the action. I am also ready for other tasks. 

"In 2022, participation in the Suzuka 8h race did not work out due to the clash of dates. But the request was always there. 

"Also, Honda are well catered for with the Superbike riders. But you never know..."

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