Repsol Honda has officially announced that Marc Marquez will not appear at the Argentine GP. Marquez diplopia forced him to make a recovery.
The absence of the mainstay driver forced the Japanese manufacturer to look for a replacement driver. Just like last year, Repsol Honda again appointed their test rider , Stefan Bradl, as a racer to replace Marc Marquez.
Who exactly is Stefan Bradl that Honda trusts so much? Extracted from various sources, the following is a profile of Stefan Bradl, the substitute racer from Germany.
1. Son of a racer who was runner up in the 250cc class
Stefan Bradl is the son of Helmut Bradl, a German racer in the 1990s. Helmut Bradl was runner-up in the 250cc class at the 1991 Grand Prix. Although at that time he managed to win five victories, Helmut Bradl was 17 points behind Luca Cadalora.
Helmut Bradl racing ability was passed down to his son. Stefan Bradl who was born on November 29, 1989, eventually grew up to become a grand prix racer.
Stefan Bradl went even further than his father. If Helmut only competed in the intermediate class , Stefan could compete in the premier class.
2. Stefan Bradl Moto2 world champion 2011 and became the youngest world champion from Germany
Stefan Bradl started his career in the grand prix event in 2005 as a wildcard racer in the 125cc class. The following year, in 2006, he had the opportunity to race a full season.
Four years in the lightweight class, Stefan then moved up to the Moto2 class in 2010. He raced for the Kiefer Racing Team. With only one win, Stefan had to settle for 9th position at the end of the standings.
Good luck just came in the 2011 season. Can appear consistent throughout the season, Stefan Bradl became a strong challenger to the world title. At the end of the season, he won a title that his father could not achieve. Stefan was also crowned as the youngest Moto2 world champion from Germany.
Successfully winning the title, Stefan Bradl was promoted to the premier class. In 2012–2014, Bradl stepped into the MotoGP class and joined the LCR Honda team. He won the Rookie of the Year title in his first year.
In 2015, he moved to the Yamaha Forward Racing team. Only half a season in this team, Bradl then moved to Aprilia Racing Team Gresini and stayed until the end of the 2016 season. Starting 2017, Stefan moved to compete in the World Superbike event.
Only one season in World Superbike, Stefan returned to MotoGP. However, he only served as a substitute driver for the injured Franco Morbidelli and Cal Crutchlow. Since 2018, the proud German racer has started a new career as a test racer for Honda.
3. Fight for the Moto2 world title with Marc Marquez
Stefan Bradl proudest episode occurred in the 2011 season. Exactly 20 years after his father finished runner up in the 250cc class, Stefan was able to surpass his father achievements by becoming the Moto2 world champion.
Stefan Bradl did not win the title easily. This German racer had to deal with an extraordinary rookie from Spain, Marc Marquez.
Marc Marquez was recognized as the fastest racer that season. Although only competing in the Moto2 class, The Baby Alien was able to win 11 podiums, including 7 victories. Unfortunately, Marquez was injured and suffered from diplopia at the end of the season so he missed the last two races.
On the other hand, experienced Stefan Bradl has enough maturity to be able to perform consistently throughout the season. Both won 11 podiums, Stefan could only win 4 times. Even so, he was able to score 274 points at the end of the standings, while Marquez recorded 251 points.
4. Honda HRC flagship test racer
As a racer with rich experience in the grand prix event , it is not strange if Stefan Bradl got the role of a test rider . Since 2018, HRC has entrusted the development of its RC213V motorcycle to this German racer.
Apart from being a test racer, Stefan can still appear as a wildcard racer and a substitute for the Honda team. In fact, the role is equally vital. Since the 2020 season, Stefan role as a substitute driver has become increasingly prominent.
5. Stefan Bradl often replaces Marc Marquez in MotoGP
2020 was not a good season for Repsol Honda. Their mainstay racer, Marc Marquez, suffered from a broken humerus since the start of the season. As a result, Marquez missed the race throughout the season.
Stefan Bradl was then trusted to be a substitute racer for Marc Marquez. During the 2020 season, Stefan appeared in 11 racing series. His role as a substitute driver continued until the start of the 2021 season. In total he returned to pave the way in 5 racing series.
Ahead of the race series in Argentina in the 2022 season, Marc Marquez is again absent because his diplopia recurs. Stefan Bradl was officially appointed to replace Marquez.
Stefan Bradl role at Honda is quite significant. Not only developing the RC213V, this German racer must always be ready to replace injured Honda riders.
The Argentine GP at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit was the next race he had to follow. Can Stefan Bradl score any points?