Stefan Bradl is hopeful of improving in Thailand after struggling on his World Superbike debut in Australia. The German could only manage fifteenth in both races at Phillip Island as Red Bull Honda’s problematic winter with the new Fireblade CBR1000RR came back to haunt them.
Although the weekend highlighted the areas Honda need to work on, Bradl was keen to take positives from his debut and expects to move forward as the year unfolds.
“My start today was a little worse than yesterday: the start itself was not so bad actually, but I got a bad line in turn one and, obviously, that carried over in turn two. This meant that the advantage I got at the start was gone already and I dropped back a couple of places. We made some changes to the bike prior to the race especially at the front, which turned out to be a positive step. Unfortunately, whilst the entry corner was good and I could be aggressive on the brakes, we were lacking on corner exit. We’re also too hard on the tyres at the moment and this meant that by the end of the race I could not keep the pace. At least, I could stay within the second group and learn a lot. All in all, it was not an easy weekend but I’m sure we will be able to improve for Thailand.”
Teammate Nicky Hayden crashed out of race two after taking eleventh in Saturday’s opener and the American is already turning his attentions to round two.
“We made some changes in order to look after the tyres a bit more, especially with the hotter conditions of today, and it was a bit better on the gas but also a bit worse on the brakes. I didn’t get the same good start as yesterday, but I didn’t feel too bad. I set my fastest lap of the race and was improving my splits while trying to stay with the second group, but I over pushed down into Lukey Heights and came off the bike. Obviously I cannot say I’m happy with the results and with the weekend in general: today I tried my best and rode as hard as I could, but it didn’t go to plan. We’ll try to turn things around for Thailand.”