Comeback by Bradl
Finishing fourth in the Grand Prix of Aragon, Stefan Bradl equaled his best performance of the season in Texas in April. In Moto2, Rabat came a step closer to the world championship title.
While the practice test sessions were run under optimal conditions, the rain spoiled the day’s racing at Aragon. After a Grand Prix MotoGP punctuated by numerous falls and during which the riders had to return to the pits to change bikes, Stefan Bradl took advantage of the situation to pass under the checkered flag in fourth position a second away from the podium. In Moto2, Tito Rabat further increased his overall lead in the standings by finishing second in a race unaffected by the rain while Mika Kallio, beset by grip problems, could not do better than taking seventh place. In Moto3, Miguel Oliveira also ranked seventh. Andrea and Jorge Navarro Migno both crashed out into the gravel on a track where many of the riders fell afoul of the wet patches.
With his second place in Aragon, Tito Rabat now has a 33-point lead over teammate Mika Kallio in the overall standings. Viñales was relegated to 74 points despite his victory, such that the Marc VDS team may be almost certain of winning the world championship title in the next race at Motegi. In MotoGP Bradl has kept his nineth place, but the rider of the Honda LCR team is now only 5 points away from Andrea Iannone. In the Moto3 class, although he is still in ninth place, Miguel Oliveira now ties on points with Dany Kent. Migno and Navarro are now respectively placed twenty-fourth and twenty-eighth in the overall standings.
The news is now official. Jack Miller will make his debut next year in MotoGP, flying the flag of the Honda LCR team alongside Cal Crutchlow. Aged 19, the current leader of the Moto3 World Championship will have a Honda Open. For many, the transition from Moto3 to MotoGP is one hell of a bet. “I wouldn’t have done it,” even said Marc Marquez. “Moto2 allowed me to get my bearings with a heavier and more powerful bike before making another move up to MotoGP.” With 200 more horsepower under him, the young Miller will have his work cut out. “But that doesn’t scare me,” he said. “If I didn’t feel capable, I wouldn’t have said yes to Honda. They’re giving me time to learn, for me this is a long-term project.” Lucio Cecchinello says he’s excited by the new challenge. “We’ll do everything we can to help him,” assures the boss of the LCR team. “We have the people and the experience to do so. In 1998, Garry McCoy was very successful in moving up from the 125 Class to the 500 Class. Jack has the talent to do the same.” For Christophe Bourguignon, the technical director of the LCR Honda team, it is the weight of the bike and its inertia during the braking, acceleration and change of direction that will require more time to adapt. “Of course MotoGP is a whole new world,” admits Bourguignon. “Learning to manage carbon brakes, traction control, engine braking … Not to mention the wheelies that do not exist in Moto3. And of course the tires and how to use them. Everything is different, but I know our team will live up to their reputation and help him make his mark in his new challenge.”