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#Bradley38Blog: Turning it around in Sepang

#Bradley38Blog: Turning it around in Sepang

I have to be so pleased with the race in Malaysia because we turned it around to fourth after I was down in 14th after Friday’s practice…

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider will be writing a blog throughout the season, giving us an exclusive insight into what life as a MotoGP™ rider is actually like:

I have to be so pleased with the race in Malaysia because we turned it around to fourth after I was down in 14th at the end of the first day of practice. I was in the middle of a little bit of a nightmare because at Phillip Island in Australia we struggled into tenth place and I wasn’t really sure if it was the tyres or actually me and a lack of confidence on the track after I crashed on the out lap in Saturday practice. I tried to put it all behind me and enjoyed those four days in Malaysia before the race and felt so good in the heat after all the training and then ended up 14th after the first day – the nightmare continues. I sat down with the guys and knew we had to do something radical and change from the base setting we’d had all season. Despite its success we had to step away from it and it’s a very hard decision to make. To go in a new direction was a bit of a risk and it was scary to have to go through Q1 to get into Q2, which brought back memories of Argentina when it had happened last. It’s not fun but we sailed through it and then did well to qualify on the third row of the grid for the race.

We’d been playing defensive, just trying to bat it back but I felt some progress in that second qualifying session and the drive was starting to come. In the warm up I followed Stefan Bradl on the Aprilia and learnt quite a lot, which I never thought I’d be saying. I told the team what I’d learnt and they made some more adjustments for the race and it paid off.

It was an important result for a couple of reasons. Cal Crutchlow was on a roll and had beaten to be the top Brit in the last three. I wanted to be the top Brit, the top factory satellite bike and beat teammate Pol and it all happened. Psychologically it was an important result to show that even though the 2016 contract is all signed, I can still put in that type of performance. It’s re-cemented those performances earlier in the year and it was in extreme heat and humidity. After three races in two weeks I still had the edge and motivation, which is crucial to succeed and it was a nice way to fly home.

To have an 18-point lead over the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso in the battle for sixth place in the Championship with one round to go is a dream come true. I honestly thought seventh position would be our target, and I would be ecstatic to achieve sixth. Going into the Valencia race it’s not all over and you only have to look at Danny Kent’s attempts to win the Moto3™ title to realise that. I go to Valencia where I won my last 125cc grand prix with great confidence after Sepang, because beating a factory bike over 18 rounds would be a huge achievement. The last race is always so exciting and I hope Danny can wrap up the Moto3™ World Championship, which we all have been waiting for, and of course there is also the decider to see who will become the MotoGP™ World Champion.

Great news that Alex De Angelis flew back to Italy on Sunday after his big crash in Japan. Get well soon Alex!

Just what is it going to be like in Valencia for that final race? Already completely sold out, rammed to the rafters and every man and his dog in the paddock. The press conference on Thursday afternoon, the MotoGP™ World Championship showdown and hopefully Danny Kent Moto3™ World Champion. I can’t wait to get there and what a finish to an extraordinary 2015 season.

Bradley Smith #38

MotoGP, 2015, Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, #Bradley38Blog

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