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Fine margins in qualifying as Smith places fourth

Fine margins in qualifying as Smith places fourth

Bradley Smith steered his Monster Yamaha Tech3 YZR-M1 to fourth position on the grid for Sunday’s Tissot Australian Grand Prix in a closely fought Q2 - which saw the Englishman lap just 0.014s off the pace of compatriot Cal Crutchlow, who was second.

There was light rain moments before Q2, yet it did not fall heavily enough to deem the 15-minute shootout wet. Despite this tricky occurrence, Smith began the Q2 session at full speed and attacked instantly with the aim of landing a spot on the front two rows.

The British star powered to a lap of 1’28.656 to take fourth on the grid. His time was only 0.006s from the front row and in addition a mere 0.014s from second. This leaves the 23 year-old rider poised for action in Sunday’s 27-lap race, which he will begin from the head of the second row.

Smith commented, “I am really pleased to be fourth even though a front row start would have been a nice bonus. Initially, I had hoped to qualify on the outside of one of the rows so that I could attack the first corner, so to clinch fourth is great and I am convinced that I can have a strong race tomorrow. At the beginning I decided to do four laps on my first tyre just to check the conditions plus loosen up a bit and then after pitting, I set my quickest time on the first lap on the new tyre.”

“The times were really close, but we achieved what we aimed for and it’s great to know that I went faster than last year on a track where conditions were completely different. Plus this year's pole position was half a second slower than 2013’s. Nevertheless, I know that the race will be a long and challenging one and it will be very important to look after the tyre as it already starts to move after just a third of the race distance, but I will give it my all to bring home a firm result.”

MotoGP, 2014, TISSOT AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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