As the season reaches its mid-point, injuries are starting to take their toll. Riders are being forced to miss races, and replacements have to be found.
The latest victim is Stefan Bradl. The German fell heavily during the race at Assen, fracturing the scaphoid in his right hand. Though he immediately drove home to Augsburg for surgery on the broken bone, the time between Assen and the Sachsenring has proven too short for Bradl to be fit for his home GP. A broken scaphoid is always painful, and the right hand has a lot of stress to bear for a motorcycle racer. The pain has proven to be too substantial, and Bradl now has until 9th August to recover, when MotoGP heads to Indianapolis.
Bradl's place will be taken in the Forward team by Claudio Corti. The Italian has experience both with the Forward team and in MotoGP, having ridden for Forward in 2013, when he raced the FTR Kawasaki. Experience with Bridgestone tires and carbon brake disks is always an issue for substitute riders.
Corti will not be the only replacement rider in Germany. Karel Abraham remains absent after suffering a severe foot injury at Barcelona. Having missed the race at Assen, despite a last-ditch attempt to try to arrange coverage for Dutch World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark to replace him, the AB Motor Racing team are forced to field a substitute. HRC test rider Hiroshi Aoyama, present at the Sachsenring for a Michelin tire test, which takes place today, is to sit in for Abraham.
The press release issued by the Forward Racing team appears below:
Stefan Bradl forced to miss his home Grand Prix
Following the crash in the Grand Prix of Assen, where he fractured his right scaphoid, Stefan Bradl will not take part to the race at Sachsenring this weekend.
The German rider immediately started rehabilitation after surgery last Monday, in which Dr. Stefan Krischak fixed the broken bone with a Herbert screw. He was motivated to ride his Yamaha Forward for his home race but despite all efforts and treatments, the pain still persists today and doctors have therefore recommended him not to return to the track too early and rest for a full recovery in view of the second half of the season.
Claudio Corti will substitute him for the German GP, he has been already with Forward in 2010 in Moto2 riding a Suter bike and in 2013 in MotoGP with Colin Edwards riding a FTR-Kawasaki. The 28 year old from Como will be on track on Friday for FP1.
"It's really a shame to be forced to miss my home Grand Prix, but doctors have advised me not to rush the recovery in order not to jeopardize the rest of the season. My hand is still sore and I will try to take full advantage of the four weeks stop before the race at Indianapolis. I will be at Sachsenring with the team to meet my commitments with the media, the sponsors and all my fans who have been really close to me during the week after I had surgery".
"I can’t hide to be really happy to be back riding a MotoGP. Many thanks to Giovanni and all the team for this opportunity and I hope Stefan will be back as soon as possible. I will try to repay the trust working hard and doing my best on the track. Riding this bike will be a new experience but I feel ready and I hope to collect a good result".