The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team has secured a top-10 finish today at Portimão’s Autodromo do Algarve courtesy of Takumi Takahashi, who wraps up his World Superbike debut in style after scoring his first World Championship point in race one yesterday. Full-time rider Stefan Bradl was unable to line up on the grid today due to a painful right wrist.
Takahashi enjoyed a good start from 18th place on the grid and immediately settled into a good rhythm, which allowed him to gain some positions. As the encounter reached its halfway point, the Japanese rider was promoted to 11th place. He then brilliantly maintained his position by getting some margin over the following riders. In the final stages of the encounter, Takumi made his way into the top-10, which he held onto up to the chequered flag.
Takahashi now leaves Portimão with a tally of six points and a lot more experience ahead of his track WorldSBK return, scheduled at Jerez in a little more than a month’s time.
After yesterday’s highside at turn 14 during race 1 – which had apparently left the German uninjured – Stefan Bradl endured severe pain in his right wrist overnight. The 27-year-old German rider tried to get on track this morning on board his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 for warm up in order to test his condition, but after a quick-lap attempt the pain became too strong for him to use the throttle accordingly, so he had to make his way back to the pits.
He then returned to the Medical Centre, where he was declared unfit to race due a right-wrist functional impairment. Stefan will return home to undergo an MRI scan to investigate possible micro damage in his wrist, which x-ray scans did not reveal between yesterday and this morning.
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team will stop at Portimão for a day of official testing tomorrow, before returning to its home base in the Netherlands to start the preparations for the French Round, which takes place at Magny-Cours in a fortnight’s time.