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GP Week : Issue 189
Former Moto2 champion Stephan Bradl is in his second year in MotoGP, and after a somewhat downbeat start underlined improving form with pole and second place at the last race before the summer break, and cemented next year ’s contract with his LCR team in the process. He spoke to MICHAEL sCOTT GPWeeK: Your improving results – where had the speed come from. STEFAN BRADL: Since Assen, when we changed the brake system, you can see we definitely made an improvement – bike setting, more feedback from my front tyre, which was a problem at the beginning of the season, and step by step we could go some different ways setting wise to get some more corner speed, and to have much better confidence in the front on corner entry. The brake switch was from Japanese Nissins to the almost universal Brembos. Are they so much different? Yes – I am not allowed to speak so much about it, but that was what gave me confidence. I just had more feeling for the front, and this was a big help. Is it the weight or positioning of the brakes? No ... just the feeling. What did the Laguna results mean to you? Of course a great weekend for us, an almost perfect weekend. It was nice to be on the top all weekend. We arrived at Laguna, we didn’t need to change anything on the bike, just a few clicks here and there, and at the end of the day we did great. I could put all my effort in the bike. It’s not easy to repeat that result, because it was a perfect weekend, where the bike was working really good and we put all the things together. It is a confidence boost of course. When you did it you know you can do it, and that is always a good feeling and you think it will be a bit easier next time. I believe it came at just the right time to save your contract. Some rumours were there that I will not be there next year. At the end of the day Honda always give me confidence they will keep me here for this team. I think that the journalists and everybody were a bit more worried than me. Inside HRC, inside LCR and inside me, I was not too worried about it. Many people might think that the contract was why we finished on the podium. I would like to repeat that every weekend, not only in a contract situation. To think other wise it just stupid. You raced Marquez in Moto2, and again here. What makes him so special? It is not only me that can answer this question. I think everybody in MotoGP is surprised at how he is performing. He won four in a row now, and he is just somehow coming from a different planet. I think in history nobody was as good as him as a rookie. It means he is an incredible talent. It looks like you can give him any bike: give him a Yamaha now and he will be probably the same speed, just as fast. You have to ask him why he is so fast, but probably not even he can answer you because he just rides the bike how he feels. For me, when he is coming to the limit to crash he still has it under control. Maybe that is his strong point. What are you doing to try to catch him? Not only Marquez is my rival. I have a couple of them in front of me. I just work on my riding style, to try to get everything to improve. For example at Brno this morning we had a couple of issues – we could not stop the bike, corner entry we suffered. We changed a lot of parts of the bike, the geometry and the balance and we improve for this afternoon. Looks like Marquez can ride the bike without a special setting. He doesn’t need a certain setting for each track. He just takes the bike and rides it and it doesn’t matter if the balance is one way or another, he can go fast anyway. Valentino is another rider who needs a good set-up to go fast. Most riders are like this. But it looks like Marquez doesn’t change the setting. What are your strong and weak points? I think my strong point is I can be fast from the beginning, on Friday or on a new track; but then my weak point is it takes me too long to get the next step done. Other riders 5 MINUTES wITH STEfAN brADl 5 MINUTES 19 GPWEEK.com // 19 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: