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Smith: “Some races are more like testing”

British rider talks to ahead of his first home race on a KTM

Coming into the premier class of motorcycle racing from scratch is a big project, and that’s exactly what KTM have done this year. So ahead of Silverstone, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Bradley Smith sat down with to talk about the project so far – although the incredible progress somewhat speaks for itself.

Smith: "Some races are more like testing"

Bradley Smith: “I think that all the whole paddock is really impressed. Me, I’m blown away by what has been achieved. Honestly, coming into the season I expected to be last. Of course, I didn’t want to be last but I expected to be last. We have no experience. The other manufacturers have about fifteen years of experience, we haven’t even had fifteen races. So, to see what this amazing group of individuals have done in such a short, small amount of time is great to see.”

From zero to the top ten is indeed no mean feat, and Smith says it’s the whole project he is relishing being part of, not just the racing. Testing, too, is an enjoyable aspect of the mountain the Austrian factory are climbing:

BS38: “Developing motorcycles is something that I enjoy. I enjoy, you know, testing and trying new things and that’s my job. For the opening part of the season your job must be to analyse as many things as possible. Sometimes my races are test races but it gives the team a great direction and helps to speed up development - which in the long run is going to be beneficial for everybody.”

That long run has been the focus from the start, but now we’re more than half a season in. So now we’ve seen KTM in the top ten and edging ever closer towards fighting to get into Q2 more often, where are the goalposts now?

BS38: “We’re still quite fresh inside this Championship! Fifteenth is an acceptable performance for us, around twelfth is like a podium and inside the Top 10 is like winning races. So if we’re between tenth to fifteenth place, we are exactly where we want to be. We need to concentrate on that goal and worry about 2018 when it comes.”