New to motogp.com?Register here
Bradley Smith’s best weekend of the year ends in the gravel, disappointed with the result but pleased with progress made.
The Monster Energy Grand Prix de France saw Bradley Smith make steady progress with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. After a difficult start to the 2016 season, Le Mans seems to have marked a turning point for the Brit who was able to qualify in sixth and in general appeared more competitive than the previous four rounds. Smith was shuffled back during the opening laps of the race but remained inside the top ten, taking advantage of several falls ahead of him. But on lap 20 at Turn 5, Smith joined the long list of fallers as he crashed out of the French GP. With the Espargaro brothers ahead of him, Smith was on the limit pushing to catch them and was trying to carry as much corner speed as he could, sadly this proved too much for the fading front tyre.
As a rider must do in situations like these, Smith focused on the positive side of the weekend. He and the team were able to make steady progress throughout the weekend and gradually getting closer and closer to where they want to be. Expect yet more improvements in Mugello. A top ten finish in the championship is not out of the question, Smith's 20 points have him only five points behind Andrea Iannone on the factory Ducati.
Bradley Smith: “It goes without saying that it’s a frustrating end to the weekend, especially because it’s clear to see that it was the best weekend that we’ve had so far this year. I started well and the first ten laps or so were positive, but then I experienced a bit of a tricky period as I had a coming together with Pedrosa and I lost some time as I ran off track. However, after that, I felt that I was getting a second wind. I felt that my rhythm was getting stronger, plus I was able to improve my lap times so I focused on being as smooth as possible. At that moment, I saw that I was catching Aleix as well as Pol, yet I went too close to the limit as the front tyre was starting to drop away and I carried a bit too much corner speed so I rolled off the side of the tyre. I am very disappointed but more for the team than myself because they have put in a lot of effort and it would have been nice to celebrate with a strong result at our home GP. Nevertheless, I have to remain optimistic because until the race, it was a much better weekend than what we have experienced so far this season. At least we are back on track and next we go to Mugello, which is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, with a MotoGP bike that I feel confident with. There is a lot of data that we can take from today’s race plus, there are a few adjustments to make because we always want to improve and I still feel that we can make a better bike. This will be the plan when we go to Mugello and we will see how we get on there."
1 year ago
1 year ago
1 year ago