Stefan Bradl says he never got nervous that his prized LCR Honda seat would go to Cal Crutchlow for 2014.
Crutchlow was linked with an 11th hour switch to Lucio Cecchinello’s squad before the British rider agreed a big money two-year switch to Ducati during the recent summer break.
Bradl’s new ’14 deal was confirmed last weekend in Indianapolis and he told MCN: “In Laguna Seca there was a lot of rumours that Cal maybe comes to Honda in my place but I was always confident and I didn’t feel under too much pressure. HRC could see the beginning of the season wasn’t as we expected but they could see that we are coming back to our normal level and performing good. The podium in Laguna was helpful but also before I knew that I was getting stronger. Honda was showing some interest in Cal but this is the game.”
The 2011 Moto2 world champion denied Honda’s interest in Crutchlow was a motivational tactic aimed at getting Bradl to deliver improved results.
With his ride seemingly under threat, Bradl scored his first MotoGP pole position and podium at Laguna Seca last month and he added: “This is also part of the game but I don’t think Honda was putting pressure on me. I’ve always had very good support from HRC.”
Bradl's new deal for 2014 will see him continue to ride a factory-backed RC213V machine.