Stefan Bradl will join the he Honda WorldSBK Team for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship.
The 2011 Moto2 World Champion will join former MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden to complete a stellar line-up for Honda next season.
Despite his young age, the 26-year-old has a wealth of experience at international level. Since his 125cc debut in 2005, he has collected nineteen podium finishes and seven wins across all Grand Prix classes. After winning the Moto2 World Championship in 2011, Bradl made his MotoGP debut with the LCR Honda Team in 2012 where his best result was a second-place finish at Laguna Seca in 2013.
"I‰Ûªm really happy to join the Honda WorldSBK Team for the 2017 season," Bradl said, "It‰Ûªs a great opportunity for me and I‰Ûªm really looking forward to this new challenge with a really competitive team and I‰Ûªm sure we‰Ûªll 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‰Ûªt wait to try the Fireblade and, obviously, it‰Ûªll be fantastic to work together with Nicky: I think it‰Ûªs 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," the German concluded.
Marco Chini - Honda's WorldSBK Operations Manager - added, "We‰Ûªre pleased to welcome Stefan Bradl to the Honda WorldSBK Team and are honoured 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. We cannot wait to take on this exciting new project however, for the moment we remain fully focused on the current season in order to put Nicky and Michael in the best possible position at the final four rounds of the year."
Honda WorldSBK team manager - Ronald ten Kate - concluded, saying, "We are very excited to welcome Stefan Bradl into our team and the WorldSBK paddock. 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‰Ûªve 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‰Ûªll need to get used to the different character of production-based motorcycles and tyres ‰ÛÒ as well as learn the new tracks on the calendar ‰ÛÒ but considering he is still very young, I‰Ûªm sure he will learn fast!"
The Honda WorldSBK Team thanked Michael van der Mark for his outstanding efforts and title-winning contribution during his tenure as a Honda rider. The team stated it will maintain its unconditional support for Michael for the remainder of the season, with the goal of achieving the best possible results.
Main Photo: Stefan Bradl