At Le Mans, Repsol Honda scored their first double top 10 finish of the season.
A still recovering Stefan Bradl was able to ride his Repsol Honda to P8 at the very wet Le Mans race, this is the first time all season he has finished inside the points, backing it up with his first top 10 finish of the unexpected season replacing the injured Marc Marquez.
Bradl has been called up to do a huge job in 2020, to replace Marc Marquez which holds huge expectations, help Alex Marquez improve and develop and also complete duties as the Honda test rider including the 2-day test at Portimao.
He has undergone surgery this season for arm pump which has plagued him his entire MotoGP career and has still come back, recovered and carried on racing, the physical toll of the racing and testing in such a short season will be incredibly high, staying at a race fit level consistently plus lapping 40+ laps at Portimao.
For example last week, he took part in the 2-day test at Portimao, putting in a huge 73 laps in on Wednesday on the majorly physically demanding Repsol Honda and rollercoaster track, just to follow this up with 37 the day after in Session 1, skipping session 2 to travel to Le Mans where he would ride the very next day.
He would arrive at Le Mans, get back on the bike on Friday and complete 1 free practice session, missing FP1 to gain some rest, getting drenched in rain in the process. Then do the same again Saturday, doing FP3, FP4 then qualifying for the race.
He completed the warm-up Sunday morning before racing the full race the next day finishing in P8 which is a great result. 5 days of hard riding will take a massive physical toll on anyone, especially a rider who is still recovering from surgery. We did the maths for you and Bradl completed a whole 214 laps over the Portimao test and Le Mans race weekend in just 5 days!
I think it is safe to say, he has massively stepped up to the mark this season, putting in much more work than originally expected and receiving a lot of unjustified criticism in the process, he has been a workhorse for Honda and they are lucky to have him.
Featured image – www.motogp.com