Smith hits form at Italian GP

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Bradley Smith took a fantastic fourth place in a thrilling Gran Premio d'Italia TIM Moto2™ race last Sunday, with the Tech 3 Racing Team rider finishing just over one second behind winner Andrea Iannone.

Smith took full advantage of his sixth position on the grid to attack for the podium right from the start of a 21-lap race that took place in hot and humid conditions at the Mugello circuit. The 21-year-old started the final lap poised to mount a late attack for the podium, but despite putting Tom Lüthi under pressure, the Swiss rider displayed ice cool nerves to ride a faultless last lap that denied Smith third by just 0.128s. The 13-points gained moved Smith to within eight-points of the top six in the World Championship rankings.

Smith, who has already signed a contract with the Tech 3 squad to race in MotoGP™ next year will take heart from his performance on board the team’s Mistral 610 chassis, as his start to the season this year has been slower than expected. And after running at the front of the pack in Silverstone at the start of the race, and now having put in a near-podium performance, the Brit is hoping to take his achievements one further when the Moto2™ returns in Indianapolis.

Bradley Smith

"That was an awesome race and it feels great to be fighting for the podium again. I struggled a bit at the beginning of the race when the other guys had new tyres because we focus on making the Mistral 610 fast on worn tyres. And that really paid off because in the second half of the race I felt really strong and fast. I made a couple of aggressive moves and I was lucky a few times when some other riders went wide and I could get through. I was probably only going to have a lonely fourth but Thomas made a mistake with about three laps to go and that put me right back with him. I gave it my all at the end but credit to him because he didn't crack under pressure and he never gave me a chance to take third. It would have been great to get on the podium again but now we go into the summer break on the back of a positive result and we can look forward to Indianapolis with a lot of optimism that we will be up there battling for the top three again."

Hervé Poncharal, Team Manager

"That was an incredible race and I'm delighted with Bradley's performance. Bradley did an incredible job from the start to the finish line and he pushed like a demon. We know he is a fighter and today he rode like a true champion. He was only one second away from the win and after all that effort he really deserved to finish on the podium. I'm also happy for the Tech 3 Racing Team. Everybody has been working non-stop to put the Mistral 610 back at the front in Moto2 and they can now start their summer break with a lot of satisfaction about today's result."

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