Jake Gagne will stand in for Stefan Bradl for the Magny-Cours round of the 2017 World Superbike championship after the German rider required surgery on a right wrist injury sustained at Portimao two weeks ago.

Bradl high-sided out of race one of the Portuguese round two weeks ago and despite initial x-rays showing no fractures or breaks, the German rider was forced out of Sunday’s race two at Portimao due to the severe pain.

Having undergone further medical checks at home in Germany, Bradl has been diagnosed with a scaphulonate ligament tear in his right wrist which requires surgery that will see him out of the French round this weekend.

As a result, American rider Gagne has been called up as a late replacement having impressed during his debut for Red Bull Honda at Laguna Seca in July acting as Bradl’s team-mate. Gagne will ride alongside the already confirmed Davide Giugliano which effectively means Red Bull Honda will be represented by two stand-in riders.

Gagne has passed on his best wishes to Bradl, whose recovery timetable won’t be known until after his surgery on Thursday 28th September, while the American rider is relishing the opportunity to continue to impress the factory Honda squad.

“First of all I would like to wish Stefan a speedy recovery: I’ve been there before and it’s never nice to have stay away from racing due to injury,” Gagne said. “Obviously I would like to thank Honda and the team for the opportunity to come back and get a second shot at World Superbike.

“Laguna Seca was a dream come true for me, and the knowledge and experience I gained from the team throughout that weekend was massive. It will also be nice to have some experience with this version of the Fireblade going into FP1.

“Magny-Cours is a completely new track for me but I look forward to the challenge of racing on a new circuit and continuing to learn and grow. I have also never been to France, so it will be an exciting week.”

Bradl says he’s feeling downbeat to miss the French round and is hoping for positive news after his surgery on Thursday.

“It’s been very disappointing news,” Bradl said. “After crashing out of race one at Portimão, the x-rays showed no sign of injury but the pain was strong. I went back home to do some more tests and get different opinions by several doctors to finally find out what was wrong with my right wrist. I did MRI and CT scans this morning and it looks like I will undergo surgery this Thursday.

“Unfortunately this will mean that I will have to sit out the race at Magny-Cours, which again it’s very disappointing, but it is something that needs to be done because right now I cannot use my wrist. Hopefully we will soon have some better news.”


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