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By Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Smith: “I just tried to be smart”

Impressive P8 for the Brit as he gets back up to speed after injury

Bradley Smith wasn’t even sure if he’d be able be make the race when he geared up for his first ride back on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 on Friday in Motegi, after the Brit suffered a crash in practice for the Oschersleben 8H endurance race and missed three MotoGP™ weekends with damage to his right knee. Two surgeries and a long period of recovery later, Smith took points in the Japanese GP as he slowly moved further and further forward through each session, and got to Phillip Island with his sights set higher once again - in his 100th race with Tech 3.

The Australian GP weekend saw Smith keep it calm in difficult conditions, close to graduating to Q2 before a crash, and then taking it cautiously in the first part of the dry race. Back up to speed and then back in the battle as a group of riders fought it out for P7, Smith crossed the line in eighth for an impressive haul of well-fought points.

Bradley Smith (P8): "First of all, I have to say that the result is very positive. It was definitely a lot of hard work and in the last few laps, I was fortunate enough to find some opening gaps which allowed me to finish in 8th. Initially, I was a bit disappointed with myself because I wasn’t aggressive enough at the start. This may have been because of my injury and perhaps I was over thinking a bit about what to do, plus I was very careful with warming up the tyres. However, once I found my rhythm, I was able to catch the group, even if it was a challenge to do this, and when I got onto the back of them, I just tried to be smart and save the tyres, because I knew that the rubber was going to be vital for the last three laps. I made a few passes in the closing stages of the race and then finally in the last corner, I just went full attack mode on the outside and I got some good grip which allowed me to beat Petrucci and Miller to the line. Once again, I have to say big thanks to the Tech3 team because they did a super job, especially after yesterday’s crash. Also, with the limited track time that we had in the dry, the guys were fantastic and gave me a solid setting. For the moment everything is going according to plan. We came back in Japan, then here, we went a little better, so now let’s see what Sepang brings."