On Friday afternoon I had the chance to sit down with Stefan Bradl following another promising day for the LCR Honda rider. Bradl has had a turbulant start to 2013-he has shown great pace in qualifying but has had some crashes. However recent setup changes have seen the 2011 Moto2 World Champion much more comfortable on his bike and a fourth place at the previous race, at Mugello, shows that there is much potential to come from both bike and rider….
Stephen English: How did today go for you?
Stefan Bradl: We had a small crash this afternoon but in gerneral it was OK because we are not far off the pace and are close to the top guy. 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.
SE: Yeah and today you were only seven tenths off in each session. Where did you lose that time?
SB: Mostly in the last section because we struggled a bit on corner entry, especially in the fast corners to get the bike to the apex. But we’ll try and analyse this to optimise it and find a solution.
SE: Is the track temperature playing a role in this problem?
SB: 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.
SE: What tyres did you use today?
SB: In the morning we used the softer tyre and in the afternoon the harder tyre.
SE: I was talking with Lucio recently and he said that you have made a lot of setup changes after Jerez, what were these?
SB: We struggled a lot with the feeling of the front tyre. We had to change a lot to get back to my confidence but I think that we were good at Le Mans and Mugello so it looks like we have found a good setting with a good front feeling which was important to me. It’s always a different story when the track temperature is so hot but obviously it’s not too bad for me at the moment.
SE: At every race bar Jerez you’ve qualified P5, does that remain you’re target going forward?
SB: 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.
SE: In qualifying do you think that front rows are possible?
SB: It’s the same story. I think that Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Rossi and Crutchlow are a bit faster than us.
SE: Is it mostly just getting more experience of the MotoGP bike that you need?
SB: Some ways yes but Marquez has shown thst he can go with the top guys in his first season. It looks like we are missing some small details which I think are a mix of many things.
SE: You were strong at Mugello, like last year, what races can you match that type of performance at?
SB: I hope at every race! We will try and get as many top five results as possible. The potential is there and our bike is able to do it and if we get a good race weekend it’s possible.
SE: For next year have you started contract talks?
SB: It’s looking good.