Honda’s Stefan Bradl has slammed “unacceptable” heat issues with the RC213V MotoGP bike after burning his foot during a miserable German Grand Prix for the brand.
Honda have dominated the Sachsenring since 2010, with Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez taking German GP victories for the brand in the last 11 editions of the event.
But for the first time since boycotting the 1982 French GP, Honda ended a premier class race without a single point, ending a run of 663 points races.
Bradl – the Honda test rider replacing Marquez as he recovers from fourth right arm surgery – was the only HRC rider to take the checkered flag, 52 seconds behind race winner Fabio Quartararo in 16th and last.
The German says he suffered in the extreme heat – which was over 30 degrees Celsius – and had to back up, before revealing the Honda’s engine had burned his right foot and leg.
“Very, very sad day,” Bradl said. “I had a big problem with handling the bike in these hot conditions because after following people in front of me in the first corners I couldn’t brake because my right hand was getting so hot and I couldn’t control the bike. .
“After a few laps, I had to retire to get some fresh air for my bike and for my body.
“And then I was just trying to finish the race. I don’t know why I finished the race because physically it was beyond the limit.
“Then I burned my right leg because it was so hot.
Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose/ Motorsport pictures
“The heat from the engine or something just isn’t acceptable in the way it’s transferred to the body.
“So very sad day for me, for us in general. But like now, it’s a situation that is actually not acceptable.”
Bradl’s teammate Pol Espargaro retired from the race as he struggled to breathe with the rib injury he picked up in an FP1 crash on Friday, and also said his foot had got burned by the bike, a problem he’s had since joining Honda.
“It was a difficult weekend,” summarized Espargaro. “A crash in FP1 and injure my ribs and then go through the whole weekend in pain, it’s hard because the ribs need time to recover and when you stress everything and the stress of riding a MotoGP bike, it’s is getting worse and worse.
“I was getting an injection before the race to try to reduce the pain during the race, but in this heat it didn’t help.
“It got more inflamed and I couldn’t breathe. I was a bit dizzy, plus the heat in my foot, which is a problem we currently have at Honda since I arrived already, it was quite painful.
“I decided to retire, I couldn’t continue, it was too extreme.”
LCR Honda duo Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Marquez also failed to make it to the finish, with Nakagami crashing out on lap seven while Marquez was sent off with technical issues.