Smith delighted to make Q2 on debut

Smith delighted to make Q2 on debut
Friday, 5 April 2013

Bradley Smith will start no lower than 12th on the grid for his MotoGP™ debut on Sunday. That is confirmed as, in Friday’s final practice session, the Englishman jumped up into the top ten.

From 2013 onwards, qualifying is split up into two segments, with the second being a 12-rider shootout for pole; ten of those riders are the fastest from across the first three practice sessions, with Smith having gone ninth quickest in the third period.

“A massive improvement in the lap time – nearly 1.3 seconds,” he told motogp.com. “I’m definitely really impressed with that. We’ve changed a lot, even since the Jerez test and since we got here, and I’m really more and more at home with the bike.

“I’m not looking for those types of improvements as of tomorrow, but we need to refine a few things. FP4 will be all about concentrating on race setup, and then we get new tyres again for the 15 minutes of Q2.

“A really good job by everybody. Our objective was to get into the top ten and make it into Q2, but to actually make it happen in those circumstances…everyone was really close and I’m only 0.8 seconds off the first guy, so that’s a really great job by everybody.”

Teammate Cal Crutchlow was third quickest across Thursday and Friday but believes he and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo are quicker than pace-setter Marc Márquez, whose Repsol Honda Team bike is carrying more speed on the straights.

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