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Smith: “We just kept on trying to improve step by step”

Smith: “We just kept on trying to improve step by step”

Bradley Smith produces his best dry weather result of the year as he rides from ninth to fourth in Malaysia.

The Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix was one of the best races of Bradley Smith’s premier class career, the Brit slicing through the field. On both Friday and Saturday in Sepang it did not look good for Smith, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider struggling more than at any point before in 2015, forced to head through Q1. From ninth on the grid the opening laps were hard, Smith muscling his way through and was inside the top seven by the fourth lap. Smith’s attention then turned to closing down Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) who were fighting for fourth.

On lap 11 Smith shot past Crutchlow to steal fourth and began to forge ahead, eventually crossing the line almost five seconds clear of his fellow Brit. Fourth is Smith’s best dry weather result of 2015 and puts him 18 points clear of Andrea Dovizioso in the MotoGP™ World Championship as they fight to end the year in sixth.

Bradley Smith: “Obviously, finishing this race in 4th position is a fantastic result, especially after such a challenging weekend. Going from 14th at the end of day one to 4th today highlights the great effort by the team and I must thank them for this. In all honesty, we really struggled in the last few days, but we just kept on trying to improve step by step. Things eventually looked good in warm up and I was able to follow a few riders, plus we made another positive change on our Yamaha for the race. Therefore I felt confident, because I knew that I had a good rhythm and I would be able to remain consistent in my lap times. In addition, I know how to ride with old tyres here. When the lights finally went out, I got a good start, but then I lost a bit of time in the second corner.”

“However, I was able to pass Stefan Bradl quite quickly and then I tried to keep the gap to Cal and Dovizioso the same because I believed that at one point in the race, I could close in on them. Therefore, I also tried to look after my tyres the best that I could. It was unfortunate for Dovizioso because he had that incident with Cal, which is a shame because it would have been good to fight with him. Yet, after that, I was able to catch Cal and then I pushed as hard as possible in the last 7 laps to open up a gap. It is amazing to get 13 points as we have now extended the points lead over Dovizioso for 6th position in the championship. So we definitely have something to celebrate and we can go home with a smile on our faces after a positive three weeks.”

MotoGP, 2015, SHELL MALAYSIA MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, RAC, Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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