Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith delivered a standout performance on the final day of MotoGP™ testing at the Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia, clocking a best time of 1’30.598 to finish second fastest behind new World Champion Marc Marquez.
The 22-year-old from Oxfordshire experimented with different settings on a new chassis, seat unit and fuel tank package which he rode for the first time yesterday and his improved feeling in the braking zone and mid-corner was reflected on the timesheets.
Smith was only 0.311s behind Marquez in second position and that display sent him into the winter break full of confidence for when the 2014 pre-season preparations resume at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia next February.
“Today was very positive and it is a great boost to go into the break being so far up the timesheets,” acknowledged Smith. “I didn’t expect to be as fast as I was and to be so close to Marc is very positive. The new parts Yamaha gave me yesterday have really been a massive improvement and it has given me a lot of confidence that this package will help me be much stronger and more competitive in 2014.”
“The bike just feels better balanced and although it was a one-off lap on a low fuel load, it gives me a great platform to take into next year,” continued Smith. “I have to be going this fast though because Pol (Espargaro) is looking very strong and it is impressive to see him so fast so soon. It looks like we will be pushing each other a lot next season and that’s positive for Yamaha and Tech3.”