Repsol Honda announce Stefan Bradl to replace Marc Marquez in Argentine MotoGP

The 2011 Moto2 World Champion, Stefan Bradl, will once again step in to replace Marc Marquez, who is out following his most recent diplopia diagnosis.

Stefan Bradl, 2021 Algarve Grand Prix.

REPSOL Honda have announced that 2011 Moto2 World Champion and official HRC MotoGP test rider, Stefan Bradl, will be stepping in for the team this weekend to fill the vacancy left by Marc Marquez. 

Marquez was confirmed yesterday (29 March 2022) to be missing the 2022 Argentinian Grand Prix scheduled to take place this weekend. 

The reason for Marquez’ absence is his most recent episode of diplopia which was diagnosed on his return to Spain after the Indonesian Grand Prix, where he suffered a colossal high side on Sunday morning during the warm up session. 

Bradl has become somewhat accustomed to filling in for Marquez in recent years, especially in 2020 when he completed the majority of the season in the red, orange and white of Repsol Honda. 

Bradl also has some experience with the all-new 2022 RC213V, having started testing the early editions of Honda’s latest Grand Prix racer in the middle of 2021. 

The German has not raced at Termas de Rio Hondo, the Argentinian home of MotoGP, since he left the Grand Prix paddock at the end of 2016 to go and ride alongside Nicky Hayden in the Ten Kate Honda WorldSBK team.

That year, the race started wet and dried out, requiring a bike change quite early on. Marquez won, and Bradl finished seventh, 24 seconds in front of his then-teammate at Aprilia, Alvaro Bautista. 

Bradl also had a decent ride at Termas in 2014, when he held off Valentino Rossi for a significant portion of the race before eventually finishing fifth, 4.4 seconds ahead of Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone.

Ahead of the race weekend, Bradl said, “The most important thing is sending my best to Marc and hoping that he recovers quickly. Until then, I will do my best for Honda HRC and the Repsol Honda Team in his place.”

“I have already done a few tests this year so I am familiar with the new Honda RC213V but of course coming into a MotoGP weekend is a different situation,” Bradl said. He added, “I have some good memories of Argentina; I was fifth there in 2014 and seventh there when I last raced in Termas in 2016. We will work with the team to define the plan for the weekend, I have no doubt it will be a busy one.”

On the other side of the garage will be Pol Espargaro, who will be looking to return to the positive form that saw him finish the opening race of the season in Qatar in third place, after suffering in Indonesia with the special, harder tyre Michelin took to Mandalika.

Speaking before the event, Espargaro said, “I am looking forward to getting our season back on the right line after a difficult weekend in Indonesia.” He continued, “What has happened is in the past and now we focus on the future. We are close to the top of the championship and the objective is to put together a weekend like in Qatar.”