Former Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl has confirmed that he will not be on next year’s MotoGP grid, ending a five-year stint in the premier class.
The German said to Speedweek.com: “Next year I will not be in grand prix racing.” It was expected that Bradl would join Avinta next year, with the satellite Ducati outfit reportedly making numerous offers to acquire the services of the German, but the deal fell through.
“I greatly appreciate the efforts made by Avintia, who have constantly improved their offer,” said the German. “But some details at Avintia did not fit, so there has been no agreement.”
Bradl stepped up to the MotoGP World Championship in 2012 having secured the the 2011 Moto2 title for the Kiefer Racing outfit. The German rode for the LCR Honda team for three seasons, his best weekend coming at Laguna Seca in 2013 when he qualified on pole and finished second to former Moto2 rival Marc Marquez. Bradl endured a turbulent 2015. He started the season off with the Forward Racing team, the Open class Champions of the previous year, but switched to Aprilia mid-season when the Forward team encountered financial difficulties.
Bradl remained with the Gresini team for 2016 and has had a respectable season aboard the RS-GP thus far. He’s taken a best result of seventh and currently lies 15th in the standings on 37 points, three places ahead of team-mate Alvaro Bautista. He unfortunately missed his home round at the Sachsenring last weekend after suffering a concussion in a crash during the warm up session just hours before the race was set to get underway.
It now looks likely that the seven-time grand prix winner will move to the World Superbike Championship for next season, with Honda his most likely destination. It was announced earlier in the year that Aleix Espargaro will join Sam Lowes at the Aprilia Gresini team in 2017.
Bradl’s team-mate Bautista looks set to join the Aspar Ducati team next year, whilst Eugene Laverty may possibly return to WorldSBK if he cannot find competitive machinery in MotoGP. It has also been rumoured that current Ducati WorldSBK rider Davide Giugliano could switch to the Moto2 World Championship next season.