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Smith claims stunning debut top 10 in Moto2

Smith claims stunning debut top 10 in Moto2

Bradley Smith started his Moto2 World Championship campaign in superb fashion in the season opening Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar.

The 20 year-old, starting from the front of the third row for his Moto2 debut, made a fantastic start and after a typically frantic first few corners, Smith found himself on the tail of the leading group in fifth.

Showing the undoubted potential of the Tech 3 Racing Mistral 610 machine, Smith settled into a consistent rhythm, comfortably reeling off a series of laps in the low 2’02” bracket to keep a determined Michele Pirro at bay in ninth.

Smith was overtaken by Pirro on lap nine, but the British rider displayed tremendous fighting spirit, refusing to let the Italian open up a gap as the 20-lap race unfolded. Far from settling for tenth position, Smith superbly chased down Julián Simón, closing down a 2.2s deficit on the 2010 Moto2 runner-up to pass him with four laps remaining.

Smith kept his cool under enormous pressure from Simón and fellow Spaniard Aleix Espargaró on the final lap to finish in a thoroughly deserved ninth, much to the delight of his Tech 3 Racing crew.

Bradley Smith:
“It feels awesome to have got a top ten in my Moto2 debut. I'd always set my heart on a top 15, so this is a real bonus. I feel like I earned it though because I am really tired now and the race was quite tough. Moto2 is obviously a lot more physical than 125s, so I might need to spend even more time in the gym! I learned so much in the race it was unbelievable. Those guys at the front certainly don't hang around and while I'm obviously happy with my result, we've got work to match that pace. I'd say I'm a second a lap behind them at the moment, but I also learned a lot about the bike and what we need to do to take another step. But to pass and hold off a rider as good as Julián is a great feeling too. I guess I owed him one from our time together in 125s. The Tech 3 Racing Team never stop working so I know we will have some improvements for the next race in Jerez. Tonight was as much of a test as it was a race, so we can only get stronger.”

Moto2, 2011, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Bradley Smith, Tech 3 Racing

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