American gets his second Red Bull Honda World Superbike call up
With the 11th round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship fast approaching, Red Bull Honda World Superbike team have announced Stefan Bradl will be forced to sit out of the upcoming round at Magny-Cours, and is to be replaced by American Jake Gagne.
German rider Bradl has been plagued with injury since the summer, but following a race one highside last time out in Portugal he was forced to have surgery on his right wrist after undergoing further examination. With a scaphulonate ligament tear, he will go under the knife on Thursday – a day before FP1 in France.
As a result of this news, American Gagne will swing his leg over the Red Bull machine for the second time this season following his debut at his home round of Laguna Seca. Finishing both races in the points and taking everything in his stride, the 25 year old will arrive to France with no knowledge of the track, but a good understanding of the machine.
Bradl explained: “It’s been very disappointing news. After crashing out of race one at Portimão, the x-rays showed no sign of injury but the pain was strong. I went back home to do some more tests and get different opinions by several doctors to finally find out what was wrong with my right wrist. I did MRI and CT scans this morning and it looks like I will undergo surgery this Thursday. Unfortunately this will mean that I will have to sit out the race at Magny-Cours, which again it’s very disappointing, but it is something that needs to be done because right now I cannot use my wrist. Hopefully we will soon have some better news.”
However, on a more positive note, Gagne adds: “First of all I would like to wish Stefan a speedy recovery: I’ve been there before and it’s never nice to have stay away from racing due to injury. Obviously I would like to thank Honda and the team for the opportunity to come back and get a second shot at World Superbike. Laguna Seca was a dream come true for me, and the knowledge and experience I gained from the team throughout that weekend was massive. It will also be nice to have some experience with this version of the Fireblade going into FP1. Magny-Cours is a completely new track for me but I look forward to the challenge of racing on a new circuit and continuing to learn and grow. I have also never been to France, so it will be an exciting week!”
Keep up with updates on Bradl’s recovery with WorldSBK.com, and follow Gagne’s pace this weekend at the Pirelli French Round, all on the WorldSBK VideoPass.