This weekend the MotoGP championship neared the end of its season with the third from last round at Sepang, Malaysia. It was a difficult weekend for SHARK riders in challenging weather conditions in both the MotoGP and Moto2 races.
The MotoGP race got underway on a wet track, with rain steadily falling. Half-way round the 20-lap race, the rain got heavier and subsequently caused a series of crashes including SHARK-man Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda), who up until his fall had been going well in sixth place. Eventually on the 14th lap the decision to stop the race was taken, and results decided from lap 13. Bradl was not hurt in the fall, and is sitting eighth in the overall championship.
Meanwhile in Moto2, Scott Redding (Marc VDS) got off to a good start in second place on the grid – his best qualifying position of the season. However, the SHARK-man struggled with rear grip issues in the wet conditions and eventually finished just outside the points in 12th place. Johann Zarco (JiR Team), was also a victim of the conditions and crashed out of the running, unhurt.
All riders will be looking ahead to next weekends race at Philip Island, Australia to collect those last minute points.
Stefan Bradl: “First of all we must check the data to understand what happened. I took a very good start from eighth place, but it was pretty tough out there because of the wet and slippery surface. But I could lap with a good pace and constant speed but after some laps I had to change the map because we had too much engine-braking. Since that moment something changed and the engine was pushing me in the corner entries and I lost two positions because I did not know what was going on. After that I came back to the standard engine-brake setting, but it was too much in those difficult conditions and I started to be slower. In the heavy rain I was more careful but suddenly I lost the rear and crashed out. I do not think it was completely my fault and I feel sorry for me and the team.”
Scott Redding: « I found myself up at the front from the start, but only because everyone else was really steady from the off. I was struggling almost immediately for rear grip on corner entry, every time I closed the throttle to turn in the rear tried to come round on me. In the end I found the limit and tried to stay inside it but it wasn’t easy, just staying on the bike was difficult enough today. I’ve closed a little on Tom Lüthi in the championship, but after such a promising showing in the dry here in Malaysia, today’s wet race was something of a disappointment. »