Maybe it's because he rides for a steady satellite team. Maybe it's because he never did much of anything to arouse MotoGP fans until winning the pole this July at Laguna Seca. Or maybe it's because, for lack of a better term, he's so damn German in nearly every imaginable way.
But one of the more unnoticed developments this summerother than the strong rookie season of Bradley Smith at Tech 3has been the stabilized performance of Stefan Bradl at LCR Honda.
Bradl's seat was reportedly under threat earlier this season after he crashed out of two of the first three races, with a fifth place at Austin the only slice of redemption. But then Bradl started to methodically figure out his RC213V in the late spring and has assembled a strong string of results.
The German has finished in the top six in six of his last seven starts. The high-water mark of his two-year MotoGP career came at Laguna Seca, where he earned his first career premier-class pole and rode to a strong second-place finish behind golden child Marc Marquez.
This quiet, yet effective performance ended all rumors of Bradl losing his seat. LCR and HRC re-signed Bradl just before the Indianapolis GP to a contract for a factory bike for 2014.
Bradl is sixth in the MotoGP points entering Silverstone, ahead of Alvaro Bautista at Gresini, who also has a factory bike for a satellite team. Bradl also is front of Ducati works teammates Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden.
The only riders ahead of Bradl in the standings are those who have won races this season and are among the select group of "aliens"Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi or believed to be capable of standing on the top of the box in 2013: Cal Crutchlow.
And for all of his quiet, methodical and typically German mannerisms, Bradl lives on the edge of adhesion as much as any rider in the premier class. Photos and video show that he uses his knee and elbow sliders as muchif not morethan the slash-and-pick-up riding style of Marquez.