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Monster Tech 3 Yamaha´s Bradley Smith chats to motogp.com ahead of the opening round of the 2015 MotoGP™ Championship in Qatar.
Smith will be writing a blog for motogp.com throughout the 2015 season, giving us an exclusive insight into what it really means to be a MotoGP™ rider. The British star, who has signed a one year deal to stay with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha this season, ended 2014 in 8th place in the Championship standings as he took his first ever podium at Phillip Island.
How has your off season gone?
The offseason has been pretty good, despite really damaging my ankle ligaments just before the first test which was not so clever. Otherwise it´s been really good and the ankle should be fine in Qatar, as I can hop up and down on it now. I could not walk on it at the first test, and I was amazed how such a small motocross crash could cause so much damage.
You have shown good pace in testing since you came back from your injury, how prepared do you feel for the start of the season?
We as a team are very prepared, and in some ways the ankle problem has made me less frenetic than normal and that has really paid off in my approach with the team. It will probably change a bit when the racing starts though and I’ll be back to normal.
You signed a one year contract for 2015 with your Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, how has this affected the pressure on you to perform?
I’m under no illusions, this is the biggest year of my career with that one year contract.
Who do you get on best with out of the other riders?
I think you get on best with the riders you know you can beat, or with the riders you know will be difficult to beat. The rest, and that’s a good few, are your rivals. You can be friendly, but you can never ever forget they are out to beat you in any way.
What is your relationship like with teammate Pol Espargaro?
Pol is the prime example. The first person you want to beat is your team-mate. We are friendly enough with each other and do what we have to do, but both of us want the same thing.
How competitive do you feel you can be in 2015?
The experience I gained from a pretty wretched season last year will be a massive help. It happened to me in 2008 and I went on to finish runner-up in the Championship the next year. The bike Yamaha have given us is fantastic after all the work they did in the second half of last season, but those first three races will be crucial.
What do you think about the pace of the Ducati GP15, and the return of Suzuki ot MotoGP™?
It excites me, but it also makes me realise, especially with Ducati, just how tough a year it will be in 2015.
What is your goal for the season?
They all merge into one. If I could be the best satellite rider, that means I’d be the top British rider, would beat Pol and should earn a new contract next year. Sounds simple doesn't it!
You are still only 24, what would you like to achieve during your career?
I want to get a factory ride one day, and that’s my focus at the present time.
What would you say is the most important lesson you have learnt during your racing career?
Listen to the experienced people around you and never give up in believing in your own ability, however bad it looks.
Finally - what can people expect from your blogs for motogp.com?
I don’t want the blog to sound like a press release about the races. I will tell you much more about Bradley Smith, good and bad and showcase what being a MotoGP™ rider is all about. I’ll be happy for you to send in questions, and any suggestions. My first blog this week is all about being woken up at 6.15 in the morning, to have a random FIM drugs test.
To send in any questions to Bradley that you may have, simply tweet us @motogp and include #AskBradley38 in your tweet.
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