Courtesy of MotoGP
After three years in MotoGP™ Stefan Bradl starts a new adventure with the NGM Forward Racing team in the 2015 premier class season.
After three years on Honda RC213V prototype machines he switches to Yamaha and at Forward the German rider replaces the top ‘Open’ rider of last season. Aleix Espargaro won the Open class battle in 2014 for Forward Racing with an advantage of 45 points over rookie Scott Redding, collected a second place finish on the podium at Aragon and took seventh in the overall classification – two spots ahead of Bradl.
Those are big steps to follow for the 2011 Moto2™ World Champion with Forward Racing, but he is ready for the challenge as he told motogp.com.
How did you spend the winter and how are your preparations for the new season going?
“I spent most of the winter at home with my friends and family. Every year that’s the only period to spent two months of time at home together with them. I worked on my condition to be prepared for the new season and I worked on my general fitness all winter long. I am ready for the test sessions and I am looking forward to jump on my new bike again.
What kind of bike will you use at Sepang 1? Do you know what new parts or items will be listed on your test schedule?
“I don’t know that exactly, I’ll only see that at Sepang but Yamaha promised me very good material and I am confident we will be provided for perfectly. For me, I need to find a good base setting with the Yamaha and to alter my riding style to that bike. Only then can we look and evaluate new parts and things. I think we will be riding with the 2014 Chassis and also the 2014 engines.”
At the first test sessions at the end of last year you experimented with different suspension solutions. Is a decision still in the making or did you make one already?
“Yeah, that decision was an easy one and we will stick to Öhlins suspension as I simply had a better feeling on it. This was also confirmed at the Jerez test at the end of November once more.”
What do you think will be possible on the NGM Forward Racing Yamaha and who will be your toughest opponents in the upcoming season?
“That’s hard to say before the first tests as there will be a lot of movement in this class, also due to new manufacturers and riders. Essentially I aim for the top ten and further. I think with my team we have the potential to bother the factory riders a bit and that I can interfere a bit there. For sure that wont be easy as the competition is high and it will be a hard fight between places five to 12.”