Honda’s desperate 2020 MotoGP World Championship campaign has been dealt another blow after revealing Stefan Bradl has been forced to withdraw with injury.

Already reeling from the absence of its champion Marc Marquez since the opening round of the season, de facto team leader Cal Crutchlow is also missing his third race of the season this weekend due to complications from arm pump surgery.

Now Bradl - who is deputising for Marquez - has been forced to step down for the weekend due to ‘ongoing issues with his right arm [that is] hindering his ability to ride in a safe and consistent manner’.

 

“Unfortunately, I am still having problems with my right arm and I am not able to ride in a safe and consistent way. I spoke with my doctor and we performed a small operation to clean the nerve before this weekend but when they opened my arm, they saw the situation was more complicated than they first thought.

“I came to Misano with the intention of racing because my doctor told me it would be OK to race. But in this situation, I do not feel I can ride safely over a whole race, [so] together with HRC we have decided to take the rest of the week to recover before Barcelona.”
 

 

The German - who has been Honda’s test rider since 2017 - has endured a troubled return to full-time competition and is yet to score a point this season on the factory Repsol Honda vacated by Marquez.

Even so, he has largely matched rookie Alex Marquez in terms of single lap pace at least, indicating the difficulties the riders are having getting dialled into the Marc Marquez-focused 2020 RC213V, while he is considered critical to the development of the package.

To date, Crutchlow, Alex Marquez and Bradl have accumulated 22 points between themselves in the opening six races, unlike Takaaki Nakagami on the 2019-spec Honda RC213V who has scored all of Honda’s 53 manufacturers’ championship points.

Repsol Honda are also rooted to the bottom of the 11-strong teams’ standings having won the title as part of a glorious triple crown success, achieved largely on the strength of Marquez’s single dominance.

 

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