Stefan Bradl is confident he will be back to full fitness in time for MotoGP’s Valencia season finale.
The German fought through to finish fifth at Motegi, his first race since fracturing his ankle in a bizarre practice crash at Sepang two weeks ago. He had attempted to return at Phillip Island, just four days after having surgery on his ankle, but after a low-key first practice he was then ruled out for the remainder of the weekend.
Bradl, who still has a chance of denying Alvaro Bautista and finishing as Honda’s top satellite rider in the championship, expects to have fully recovered in time for the November 10 finale.
“I felt a little bit of pain during the race [at Motegi], when my right leg was kind of pumping the muscle,” he said, “but I think I should be back in 100 percent condition for Valencia.
“Considering I was in hospital two weeks ago, we managed to do a good weekend and I’m happy — a good comeback. It was a strange weekend: directly going to qualifying, damp conditions and having one practice before the race.
“Unfortunately, I made too mistakes under braking — that is why Bautista made the gap and I was not able to get any closer. I think fifth position is OK and that I can be happy.”
Cal Crutchlow has already secured top satellite honors in fifth overall, having built up an unassailable 28-point lead over Bautista with one race to go. Bradl, meanwhile is 14 points down the road in seventh, having led Bautista by 10 points prior to his Sepang fall.