Stefan Bradl may have crashed during FP2 but the German was in good spirits at the end of his day when he spoke exclusively to Stephen English having set the ninth fastest time of the opening day of the Catalan Grand Prix:
“We had a small crash this afternoon but in general it was OK because we are not far off the pace and are close to the top guy,” said the former Moto2 world champion. “Without the crash we could have been P5 easily so I am quite satisfied and optimistic for tomorrow. From P4 to P9 is very close.”
It has been very competitive within this midfield range in recent races but a setup change at Le Mans has allowed Bradl to have much more confidence on the bike, particularly in terms of front end feel, and having finished fourth at Mugello he is confident of being able to maintain that momentum this weekend.
The LCR Honda rider was seven tenths off the pace in each session and afterwards Bradl admitted that it was mostly in the final section of the lap that he was losing time. Front end feel was an issue in this section of the lap but that with the very high track temperatures this is a common complaint along the pit-lane. For Bradl however he is confident that this shouldn’t be a major issue for him and the target remains to finish in the top five once again.
“The track is so hot that it is difficult to use the right tyres and find the right setting. But the weekend will be hot like this so it is a good sign that [the bike] can work in these temperatures. P5 or P6 would be good for us. Dreaming about the podium would be a bit hard for us…nothing is impossible but it would be hard for us. The rivals are fast and everything is so close but I think that P5 and P6 is good for us.”