Bradl Moves to World Superbike for 2017 | Van der Mark Leaving

Stefan Bradl World Superbike Honda
Stefan Bradl

Honda has confirmed that Germany’s Stefan Bradl will be riding for the Honda WorldSBK Team in 2017, joining former MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden.

Bradl, 26, was the 2011 Moto2 World Champion before moving to MotoGP. After early successes in MotoGP, Bradl has been floundering outside of the top 10.

Bradl will replace 2014 World Supersport Champion Michael van der Mark on the Honda WorldSBK Team CBR1000RR, with a Honda spokesman saying, “The Honda WorldSBK Team would like to thank Michael van der Mark for his outstanding efforts and title-winning contribution during his tenure as a Honda rider. The team will maintain its unconditional support for Michael for the remainder of the season, with the goal of achieving the best possible results.”

“I’m really happy to join the Honda WorldSBK Team for the 2017 season,” Bradl said, “It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to this new challenge with a really competitive team and I’m sure we’ll do great things together. Of course, this is going to be a whole new experience for me, but I will try to adapt as quickly as possible in order to get some really good results. I can’t wait to try the Fireblade and, obviously, it’ll be fantastic to work together with Nicky. I think it’s a fantastic combination because we understand each other really well. We can all look forward to the future and I am super-motivated for this new journey.”

Although the motorcycle itself has not been revealed, there will be an all-new 2017 Honda CBR1000RR for Hayden and Bradl to race.

“We are very excited to welcome Stefan Bradl into our team and the WorldSBK paddock,” Honda WorldSBK Team Manager Ronald ten Kate said. “Stefan has chosen to ride with Honda in World Superbike, and we will be sure to repay his trust in us in the best possible way. In the meetings we’ve had so far, he gave us a clear view on his goals and the way to get there, and it is clear that we share the very same approach to racing. Like every other rider coming from MotoGP, he’ll need to get used to the different character of production-based motorcycles and tires, as well as learn the new tracks on the calendar, But, considering he is still very young, I’m sure he will learn fast!”

Marco Chini, WorldSBK Operations Manger for Honda said, “We’re pleased to welcome Stefan Bradl to the Honda WorldSBK Team and are honored that he accepted this new challenge with Honda, with the goal to compete at the highest level in WorldSBK. If we look at our line-up for 2017, with Ten Kate still as our official team within the series, we cannot hide the fact that we will be aiming for very good results next year.”

Currently riding for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, Bradl sits 15th in the 2016 MotoGP World Championship Standings. Hayden is sixth in the FIM WorldSBK Championship Series, 12 points behind teammate Van der Mark.