Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team riders review the Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round
Takumi Takahashi rode well on his debut WorldSBK weekend, earning a point in Race 1 and providing the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team with a top ten finish in Sunday’s race.
It was a more frustrating visit to Portimao for fellow Honda rider Stefan Bradl, however, as he was unable to line up on the grid for Race 2 due to a painful right wrist. After a highside crash at turn 14 during Race 1 the German initially appeared to be uninjured, but he endured severe pain in his right wrist overnight on Saturday.
The 27 year-old German rider tried to get back on track on Sunday morning to test his condition, but after a quick lap attempt the pain became too intense for him to use the throttle accordingly. He then returned to the Medical Centre, where he was declared unfit to race and he now returns to Germany to undergo an MRI scan to investigate possible micro damage in his wrist, which x-ray scans did not initially reveal.
Meanwhile, Bradl’s colleague for the weekend Takahashi made a good start from 18th place on the grid in Race 2 and immediately settled into a good rhythm, gaining several positions. As the race reached the halfway point the Japanese rider was positioned in 11th place and in the final stages he made his way into the top ten. He is scheduled for a WorldSBK return at Jerez in a little more than a month’s time.
Reviewing his experience at the Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round Takahashi commented, “On Sunday we made some improvements with the set-up on the bike and, although I had the same kind of issue to get up to speed in the early stages, in the last part of the race I found myself in a position trying to bridge the gap with (Ayrton) Badovini for ninth place before the chequered flag. We managed to finish in the top ten with a bit of luck and we garnered more experience, so I am now looking forward to Jerez, a track I know already, in order to push for more.”
On the other side of the garage Bradl stated, “Unfortunately the crash led to some problems with my wrist. We did an x-ray and it showed no fracture or damage, but during the night the situation got a bit worse because I was really in lots of pain. I tried during warm up with the help of Clinica Mobile – who I want to thank for the help – but I noticed almost immediately that I didn’t have the full control of the bike. I wasn’t fast because I was not in a condition to push, so I went back to the Clinica and the doctor suggested an MRI scan back home in order to search for any possible tiny crack or ligament damage that would explain the pain.”
“It’s another very unlucky weekend for us, especially because we showed signs of improvement and things were looking better. But we can take these positives into the next race at Magny-Cours and I really hope I will be fully fit for then.”