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With the current spate of amazing images of MotoGP’s new starlet Marc Marquez, it’s been easy to overlook another potential plot spoiler. Stefan Bradl went about his MotoGP debut during 2012 in a very impressive fashion. Bear in mind that he jumped right off his 120bhp Moto2 machine on to a 250bhp prototype and was instantly fast. He also put himself in and around folk who either had been racing the class for years, or grew up on powerful superbikes. At the latest test he impressed further, especially during long race runs.
The only dampener is that due to the CRT class, he and others such as Alvaro Bautista, Cal Crutchlow and near anyone riding a Ducati, is virtually guaranteed a top-ten finish every race. With half a dozen less prototypes racing nowadays, what constitutes a good result in MotoGP? We’d have to say that now, a top six finish is the real deal. You get in there, and you are doing a bloody good job. We expect Bradl to be right up there, trying to deny the second tier prototype riders their share of the pie. In fact, he and the others could go higher, it just depends on how Valentino Rossi will get on. If he can’t beat Marquez, for example, then Stefan, Cal and Alvaro will be ready to pounce on the racing world’s biggest scalp. Even when not winning, Rossi remains the benchmark, and the one they want to beat.