Stefan Bradl will switch from MotoGP to World Superbikes in 2017 after signing for the Honda WorldSBK Team. The German’s place on the MotoGP grid was in serious doubt after Aleix Espargaro and Sam Lowes were confirmed as Aprilia’s rider line-up but the 2011 Moto2 champion will now replace the outgoing Michael van der Mark who looks set to join PATA Yamaha.
Bradl will partner Nicky Hayden next season and is excited to begin a new chapter in his career with the Ten Kate squad.
“I’m really happy to join the Honda WorldSBK Team for the 2017 season. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to this new challenge with a really competitive team and I’m sure we’ll do great things together. Of course, this is going to be a whole new experience for me but I will try to adapt as quickly as possible, in order to get some really good results. I can’t wait to try the Fireblade and, obviously, it’ll be fantastic to work together with Nicky: I think it’s a fantastic combination because we understand each other really well. We can all look forward to the future and I am super motivated for this new journey.”
Team Manager Ronald ten Kate is confident that Bradl will get up to speed quickly on superbike machinery and expects a successful campaign with his new rider pairing.
“We are very excited to welcome Stefan Bradl into our team and the WorldSBK paddock. Stefan has chosen to ride with Honda in World Superbike and we will be sure to repay his trust in us in the best possible way. In the meetings we’ve had so far, he gave us a clear view on his goals and the way to get there, and it is clear that we share the very same approach to racing. Like every other rider coming from MotoGP, he’ll need to get used to the different character of production-based motorcycles and tyres – as well as learn the new tracks on the calendar – but considering he is still very young, I’m sure he will learn fast!”