Stefan Bradl to leave Aprilia MotoGP team for WSBK in 2017

Aprilia rider Stefan Bradl will leave MotoGP at the end of the 2016 season and join Honda in the World Superbike Championship

Stefan Bradl to leave Aprilia MotoGP team for WSBK in 2017

The German had been looking for a new ride since Aprilia confirmed its 2017 line-up of Suzuki refugee Aleix Espargaro and Moto2 title contender Sam Lowes.

He held discussions with the Avintia Ducati satellite team, but instead opted to switch to WSBK for the prospect of fighting for wins and titles.

Bradl will join 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden in Honda's line-up, the American having moved to the series this year.

"It's a great opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to this new challenge with a really competitive team and I'm sure we'll do great things together," the 26-year-old said.

"This is going to be a whole new experience for me but I will try to adapt as quickly as possible, in order to get some really good results.

"I can't wait to try the [Honda] Fireblade and, obviously, it'll be fantastic to work together with Nicky: it's a fantastic combination because we understand each other really well.

"We can all look forward to the future and I am super motivated for this new journey."

The 2011 Moto2 champion, Bradl spent three MotoGP seasons with LCR Honda, finishing as the top rookie in '12, then taking pole position and a second-place finish at Laguna Seca on his way to a career-best seventh in the standings the following year.

He started 2015 with Forward Racing on open-specification Yamaha, but joined Aprilia mid-season and is currently 15th in this year's championship.

Bradl's current team-mate Alvaro Bautista will join Aspar Ducati in 2017, while his WSBK switch increases the likelihood that Avintia will retain Loris Baz to partner Hector Barbera.

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