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Wet weather fails to dampen Tech3 as Smith blazes to fifth

Wet weather fails to dampen Tech3 as Smith blazes to fifth

Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith rode a well executed race whilst battling the challenging dry-wet conditions to land fifth position at Motorland Aragon.

The British rider began the race, which was initially dry, from 11th on the grid as he looked to surge through the field straight away and make a charge for the leading bikes. However Smith had to undertake evasive action to avoid colliding with another rider which caused him to slip down to 20th at the end of the first lap.

Yet, the 23 year-old rider composed himself and rapidly made amends as he reached 11th by lap 5 after firmly setting into a solid and consistent race pace. With 14 laps to go, Smith was running in tenth and closing down the riders in front before breezing past Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista to seize eighth as the rain began to fall. On lap 18 he made the decision to enter the pits to swap to his bike with the wet setup and then climbed back up to seventh on the 20th lap.

Following this, the British rider proceeded to overcome his teammate Pol Espargaro on lap 22 to clinch fifth and stormed to the chequered flag in this position to equal his best finish in MotoGP™. Smith overtook a 15 riders from the end of the first lap in what was an impressive showing.

Smith commented, “It was a great result today and I accomplished my ambition of getting into the top five although the conditions may have helped me in achieving this. It was a tough race and I could have finished even higher still had I not dropped back to 20th on the first lap. I tried to take some aggressive passes at the beginning and actually hit the back of someone, who I think was Valentino at turn 5, which sat me up.”

“I made the decision to pit at the same time as Cal, so I think a podium could have been possible for me, but I must say congratulations to him for the result. As for me, I am pleased to get fifth and I’ve got to say thank you to the team for the work they have done this weekend. Now I look forward to the upcoming flyaway races where I will once again be doing my best to get into the top six.”

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Pol Espargaro reflected on his sixth place finish saying, “I really can't hide how disappointed I am as it is the third time this year that we have been incredibly unlucky with the weather conditions. It’s truly frustrating, as with just a few more dry minutes we would have ended the weekend in a completely different manner. However, that's racing and we will try again in Japan in a couple of weeks of time.”

MotoGP, 2014, GRAN PREMIO MOVISTAR DE ARAGÓN, Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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