SHARK-supported Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team), Johann Zarco (JiR Team) and Stefan Bradl all scooped top-ten finishes this weekend in the Moto2 and MotoGP Championships from Jerez, Spain.
The Moto2 race started in dry conditions, with Redding on the fourth row of the grid after a big crash in qualifying the day before. Getting off to a flying start, the young Brit pushed his way up, and was seventh by the end of the first lap. Redding battled with the front-runners throughout the race, until a heavy rain shower resulted in a red flag. He took a fantastic fourth place, after the positions were taken from the previous lap.
Fellow SHARK man Zarco started the race from 10th place on the grid. A difficult first lap saw the young Frenchman drop down to 18th, however he fought hard to make a remarkable comeback, regaining 10th place by lap 14. Zarco was battling with Bradley Smith when the race was red flagged, and he finished in 10th.
Meanwhile MotoGP rookie, Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) battled with veteran Nicky Hayden to the chequered flag. It was an educational weekend for the young German, with practice, qualifying and the race all held in tricky conditions. Bradl battled and managed to pass Hayden on the final lap, claiming seventh – one place better than at his debut race in Qatar. The MotoGP paddock will now travel to Portugal for the next round at Estoril from 4-6 May.
The Cookstown 100 road races where also held this weekend with SHARK’s Ryan Farquhar storming to victory, claiming four-wins in one day. Farquhar has now racked up 27 race wins at the event. Jamie Hamilton – Farquhar’s teammate – finished behind the experienced Irishman in second place in the Supertwins race, and also claimed two top-ten finishes in both Superbike races. The road-racing action now moves to the Tandragee 100 road races on Saturday 5 May.
Scott Redding, Moto2: 4th: « I knew I had to push from the start if I wanted to make it to the front, so I stuck the elbows out, took a few risks and bumped my way past a few people. It was a good battle at the front, with some pretty hard moves from everyone, but then it started to rain around the back part of the track and I had a couple of big moments as the rear let go. After the second near highside I decided to back off a bit to see if conditions would improve, but then the real rain arrived and the race was stopped. It would have been good to finish on the podium, but having started from so far back on the grid, I’m pretty happy with fourth place today. »
Stefan Bradl, MotoGP: 7th: “I am very happy with this result. First of all I think it was a difficult weekend for everybody due to the weather conditions, so I want to thank the whole team for their great job. During the sighting lap I was very nervous because I thought that the last part of the track was wet, so I changed my helmet visor and everything was clearer. I was capable to attack my competitors since the beginning of the race but I found it a bit risky so I waited a little bit and after some laps I was fighting with (Alvaro) Bautista and (Nicky) Hayden. We were doing well, but Hayden blocked me a little bit in the middle of the race and Bautista got away from us. When he was gone I started my fight with Nicky, which I enjoyed very much, especially in the last two laps. I got some problems with my right arm because it was sore in the middle of the race and this cost me a bit of time because I had to force the bike in a different way. Basically, this was another positive weekend for me and I really enjoyed the applause the team made for me when I was back at the garage.”
Ryan Farquhar: « What can I say, it’s been another great day and everything’s gone to plan so it’s a fantastic start to the Irish road racing season. I could have done without Friday’s wee mishap but it didn’t create any issue for race day and we started the day with a good second. Jamie had yet another great day too and he’s impressing everyone with his results, not just on the Supertwin but also on the big bike. He’s been a great addition to the team and it’s been a great day all round for KMR Kawasaki. There’s not much time now before Tandragee so there’s a lot of work to be done on the bikes whilst I also hope to be out on my Superbike for the first time this year and get a good run on it before the North West 200. »