Stefan Bradl will miss at least one race following a crash in Sepang’s final practice session. As a result of the incident at Turn 1, the LCR Honda MotoGP rider has sustained a fractured right ankle and will be undergoing surgery in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night.
During fourth free practice which takes place immediately before qualifying, Bradl lost the front end of his bike entering the first corner. The subsequent crash would leave the 23-year-old with a transversal fracture of the right medial malleolus.
“It wasn’t a big crash, I just lost the front at Turn 1,” the German recalls. “Then I slid away and there was that green carpet which somehow came up when the handlebar touched it. So I touched the carpet and broke part of my ankle. It’s really unlucky. Normally you walk away, take the second bike and go again, but now I can’t do anything – it was just the bad luck we had.”
While a return for next weekend’s Tissot Australian Grand Prix may be possible, Bradl remains realistic and is targeting a comeback a week later at Motegi. As he explains, his comeback will depend on both an operation and the recovery period, with surgery taking place on Saturday night at the Kuala Lumpur Sports Medicine Centre – supervised by Dr. Alberto Busilacci (Orthopedic Surgeon of the Clinica Mobile) and Dr. Enric Caceres (Dorna Medical Team).
“If we do it tonight or as soon as possible, then there is a small chance of returning for Australia, but the chance is small. We will see what the doctor says and then make a decision, but I am definitely trying to come back for Japan.”
In qualifying, Bradl was classified 12th as his lap times from practice submitted him directly to Q2. As a result of the LCR rider’s absence, the final position on Row 4 will now be occupied by NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards.