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Who is Karel Abraham, And Why Has He Qualified His Ducati Faster Than Rossi and Hayden . . . Twice?

There is a 21-year-old rookie in MotoGP this year by the name of Karel Abraham. He rides a Ducati on the Cardion AB team, owned by his father. His father also owns the Brno racing circuit, and Karel has been racing GPs since 2005. Like plenty of other young racers, Mr. Abraham says his hero is Valentino Rossi. He did not have the greatest of success in the past, but won his first GP last year in the Moto2 class.

Before you dismiss Abraham as a rich kid who doesn’t belong in MotoGP on his merits, consider this. He has been the fastest Ducati in qualifying twice despite receiving far less factory support than either Valentino Rossi or Nicky Hayden. He did this the first time at Silverstone, where he qualified sixth. Earlier today, he was again the highest qualifier on a Ducati at Assen (7th). He is very good in the wet, and finished seventh in both of the rainy rounds this year, Jerez and Silverstone. He currently lies tenth in the points — top rookie.

It was just announced that Ducati will support his satellite team again next year with 1000cc bikes. Ducati is apparently impressed with young Mr. Abraham.


  1. Mark says:

    Before we proclaim this kid the new wunderkind, lets remember that Rossi was riding an all new bike for the first time and Hayden was riding the new softer chassis for the first time. They had no setup data so it was all new. Karel may be a better rider in the future, but I really doubt he is bette then Hayden or Rossi at this point.

  2. mxs says:

    It’s a no brainer. Hayden is much older and not much faster really. Karel is wiser investment for them, really.

    I personally didn’t like his MotoGP entry first, but I must say he’s been very good, especially on the Ducati.

  3. mxs says:

    I’ve got a news for you .. the Moto2 champ from 2010 is in MotoGP and he has lost every time to this kid. I am sure there are people in Moto2 equally fast as Karel, but at the same token there are plenty of riders in MotoGP who should not have a ride in the premium class ….

  4. tommy says:

    How odd is it that the most gracious, mature riders in ALL of MotoGP come from Texas and Kentucky? Just watching the poise and humility coming from the yanks as opposed to every other rider on the grid is truly amazing. The post race with Ben was a lesson in utterly awesome press handling. His first win, on the 50th anniversary for Yamaha and he just sounded humble, grateful, etc. The interview with Colin where they showed the x-ray of his completely shatter collarbone was fantastic. He took the time to compare and contrast with Cal and minimize his vs. Cal’s, etc. and always kept a sense of humor and, again, humility. Without those guys the sport would be far poorer for quality individuals. I’m no flag waver, but its just awesome to see such amazing representation where American attention is pretty nil.

  5. Cliff says:

    I am Nicky Hayden fan, Ive been following him since his AMA days. And I admit i too sometimes get very disappointed when he doesnt perform well, and place himself in the top 5 after qualifying, and let alone not on the podium every race. But I do understand that the 800cc bikes they are riding on, requires a different riding style, far from the days of 990cc era, where he can slide the rear to steer the bike around corners. Something that he did back in the AMA days. Besides the fact that Duc, is a different animal all together than the rest of the field, hell even Rossi cant ride the thing. So give him some slack, after he recieves the 11.1 upgrade, I belive he will be doing better, and next year when they go to 1000cc bikes, we will see better results. as far as Karel he has been in GP since he started riding so he has a better understanding of riding in 800cc, but he still hasnt placed a good result yet, so temper your expectations of him replacing Nicky! Actually i see all them little guys like Dani, Jorge, Casey, to a point having issues racing the new 1000cc’s next yeAR.

  6. Jefferson Davis says:

    “Ducati will support(?) his satellite team with 1000cc bikes”.

    Thats rich….you mean they’ll take the $millions his father is supplying (bribing) them & Dorna with.

    If qualifying is now the standard by which talent is judged..Simoncelli is close to being 2011 WC….races have been boring so how about we just forget them?

    If wonder-boy Abraham is “all that” why then is his fairing devoid of ANY sponsorship other than his father’s enterprises..surely someone else would be smart enough to hook up with this rising(?) star.

    Stoner & others like Wayne Gardner are right, just because he has had a couple of “lucky” qualifying sessons (& no decent race results), I wonder when/if he does a Simoncelli take down, how impressed you’ll be then.

  7. Alan says:

    I don’t hate Nicky, far from it, I’m a huge fan, saw him get his first national dirt track win. constantly finishing 6th or 7th isn’t going to cut it though. he and rossi both need to step it up and fight for the podium on a regular basis.

  8. Norm G. says:

    karel abraham… livin’ the dream…

  9. kirk66 says:

    You Nick haters are great. Rossi’s riding the same type of bike or the new chasis and is he the boy wonder that Ducati thought might bet the Duci competitive? It’s a tough bike to be comfortable on for everyone that rides it. Nick does something that is hardly seeen in racing today- He throws no one under the bus. He usually shoulders all blame on performance upon himself. That’s why he has a good seat. He will race out the first year on the 1000 and will probably end 5-6 in the standings. in 2013 it will be a different story, but it would not suprise me if he just gets pushed to a customer ducati.

  10. Michal says:

    What are you talking about ? Ducati will supoprt his SATELLITE team. So Nicky is staying in Marlboro 😉

  11. touristguy87 says:

    …um, you’re going to replace the 2006 WC with a kid who hasn’t even got a podium yet? Who is 10th in his rookie season?

    Why do you hate Nicky Hayden? LOL

  12. Stinky says:

    Maybe he’s a different kind of Stoner that can make that bike work when noone else can. Maybe he’s not been rubberside up enough to be scared of the thing. Young & brave? It’s always good to see an underdog, even if he is a rich kid. AND HE’S ON A DUCATI!!!

  13. bohomoto says:

    He’s also currently enrolled in law school at the University of Brno. Who is this kid!?

    • mxs says:

      You can be enrolled in many things, trust me ….. I am sure nobody is hiring him to plead his/her case.

  14. gurney says:

    I’m just hoping to see the whole bucket get shaken up and turned upside down when they go to 1000cc next year.

    I havent really been enjoying the 800cc GP to be honest. Still a case of which of the more talented of the midgets (sorry, I mean not to be as hurtful as it sounds..”little folk” perhaps?) has his electronics tuned wins the day.

    I dont mean to say that those that are at the front arent superb and talented, they are but as a spectator my enthusiasm for the races has gone south since the ending of the 990cc. I love the 2-stroke 500cc but I dont think I need have riders subjected to Barry Sheene-like a-dozen broken bones just for my gratification. Keep the safety margin but put the “riding” back in the pilots hands..

    Make it so that a 6’175LBS rider has a prayer and not the 5’1″ 140LBS who seems just tall enough to ride on the ferris wheel. (again, sorry for my crudeness with regard the ‘vertically challenged’)

    • Just Joe says:

      Totally agree. And they should make the basket lower in basketball so those tall freaks stop having an advantage. And they should make all those Kenyans that run marathons wear backpacks full of bricks so big fat guys can better compete.

      No really, thanks for your insight…

  15. SpeedTrip says:

    well, that was ‘commentator’s curse’ in action.

  16. Bill says:

    i don’t know how Hayden has held onto a job since 2006

    • bikerrandy says:

      I’ve heard he’s really well liked in Europe and he doesn’t bad mouth his bike’s weaknesses. He also might not make that much money compared to others with his credentials.

  17. Tim says:

    It’s hard to argue Stoner’s comments. He was simply saying that other guys deserved the GP spot more, based on thier prior results in the lower classes. I think if you read the full context of Stoner’s comments, they were fair. Money clearly opened the door for this young man’s move to the top class (just like money and fame probably opened the door for Stoner to land such a hot wife.) That doesn’t mean Abraham can’t show that he belongs, and Stoner acknowledged that as well.

    If his Dad has multi-millions, perhaps he’s getting a more advanced bike than the factory guys. Ducati doesn’t have unlimited funds, but maybe Abraham’s Dad does. Still, you can’t argue that the kid has talent. I don’t care how good or bad a bike is, if you’re qualifying this high, in this class, you clearly have talent. Money alone won’t buy you those qualifying results.

  18. ze says:

    too soon to judge anything, but i feel happy for him after what stoner
    said about Abraham …

  19. Alan says:

    goodbye Nicky, hello Karel. hate to say it, but I see it happening