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Bradley Smith chats exclusively to motogp.com about his new contract, his home Grand Prix and the importance of delivering on his promises.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith is currently fifth in the MotoGP™ World Championship standings with 106 points after 11 races, and has just signed a new one year contract with his team for 2016:
So Bradley, after all of your efforts, it must feel nice to be rewarded with a new contract?
“Yeah it certainly feels good to be in strong situation! I have achieved what I set out at the beginning of the season to achieve. It wasn’t an easy goal I set myself to be the top satellite rider, to be going head to head with Cal and my teammate Pol after he had such a strong season in his rookie year. Then of course going up against Scott on the Factory Honda as well, I certainly put myself out there, and I’ve exceeded that. I am 25 points ahead of Pol and those guys, and fifth in the championship ahead of Dovizioso and Pedrosa, although that admittedly is due to his injury. It’s amazing to sit here after 11 races and be fifth in the championship, it’s nice to out do your expectations but I have to try and stay realistic and keep my head down for the remaining seven races.”
Has the pressure of a one-year contract brought the best out of you?
“Yeah it has. I knew this season was an important season. At the end of the day I was lucky to keep my ride at the end of last year, and for Tech 3 to keep me on this year. They believed in what I could do, and the sponsors became convinced, as I am not sure all of them believed in what I can do at the start. It was nice to turn that around, and just basically repay the faith that Herve, his team and Yamaha have put into me.”
It must be nice to have come through all this pressure and actually deliver what you said you would…
“Yeah, it’s nice! I try and be realistic as possible about my potential achievements, I don’t always know what I can do! I have certainly a good idea, and like I said, it’s really nice to actually deliver on what I say. There are a lot of riders who talk themselves up and can’t deliver and I think that’s quite embarrassing, so its nice to be the guy that is actually doing what he said he would do. I just go about my work quietly and let the results speak for themselves.”
So now you have your MotoGP™ future secured, what’s next for Bradley?
“Obviously I want to finish the season strong and try and hold off the two factory bikes that are behind me. I think it will be very difficult, but the target at the beginning of the season was to finish seventh. So I am fifth at the moment, if I end up seventh I was on target, anything more that that is a bonus. We just have to wait for that chance to fight for the podium. Last year there were quite a few flag to flag races, and we have seen Cal on the podium this year in Argentina. So we know it is possible. I am just waiting for my opportunity for that, and I have to make sure I am in the right place when that opportunity comes about!”
How much would it mean to grab your first podium of the season in front of your home fans at the British GP this weekend?
“It certainly would be nice to do that for the home crowd!!! I am realist though, and it’s not a realistic objective for this weekend. I know that Yamaha go well around Silverstone, and that Bridgestone are bringing some slighter different tyres too. I feel optimistic that this will work well for the Yamaha. We have to bear in mind that Silverstone is a very fast and flowing racetrack, so the Ducati’s with their horsepower and speed will be strong. Honda, we know that they are always going to be strong so it’s certainly not going to be a clean sweep for Yamaha. But with the support of the home crowd, and the fact that I love Silverstone and that I feel this is ‘my’ race, having grown up just 30 minutes form the track. I am looking forward to putting on my best performance to try and grab my best result of the season so far!”
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