MotoGP » Bradley Smith:

Building up for home race flourish

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Hi everyone!

I'm never going to be happy with 19th place, but some great things happened in Barcelona; I set the fastest lap of the race – and honestly could have gone faster – I was able to run the pace of the guys at the front and I'm really ready for Silverstone this weekend.

I should also add I was relieved that Yuki Takahashi was not hurt when we collided.

It was more luck than judgement that I didn't crash in the incident, which came in the early stages of a race in which I'd really clicked. I'd felt good all weekend, despite a mystifying crash during qualifying, and I was able to match the pace of the leading group.

In fact, I was lining up to pass Yuki when Thomas Lüthi started to slide; I thought he was about to highside off the left side of the bike, but somehow he held on and went right. Yuki jammed on the brakes to miss him, and my throttle was still wide open when I hit him.

The impact jammed my clutch lever into the broken fairing, and I spent the next half-a-lap breaking the carbon fibre to free it. Once that was sorted, I had to ride back through the pack because I was further back than I had been after not the best of starts, on a damp part of the track, from the second row. My pace was really strong, and I was fighting in a big bunch for fifth place.

Towards the end of the race, the damaged clutch was starting to play up and also I'd chosen a softer compound rear tyre which was beginning to slide. It was an exciting few laps, but with half-a-lap to go I ran onto the kerb – which was still slippery from heavy overnight rain – and had to run the bike straight on.

I thought, 'I'm going down here', but I managed to stay on and eventually got back on the track to finish 19th, which really does not tell the true story of the weekend.

The crash in qualifying was a bit of a mystery, and was certainly a mechanical problem which locked the back wheel at the fast corner coming onto the long front straight. I was high-sided off but escaped any injury, which was good news for the ankle I damaged at Le Mans. The bike did not escape so lightly, and it was a long night for my team to get it ready for the warm-up on Sunday morning.

I watched the 125s before our Moto2 race, and congratulations to Johann Zarco for crossing the line in front of my old team-mate Nico Terol to take the chequered flag. He rode a brilliant race despite the speed difference between their two bikes. I thought his last corner was fantastic, and he was faster than Nico through there. Others did not agree, and he was docked 20 seconds which dropped him to sixth. He deserves to be up there again at Silverstone, and I'm sure he will be.

We will be taking all the positives into the race at Silverstone. I'm certain the grand prix will be something we can all be very proud off. The new pit complex at Silverstone is unbelievable and will be a real eye-opener to the MotoGP paddock when they arrive.

Related Pictures

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Smith, Catalunya Moto2 2011
Smith, Catalunya Moto2 2011
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Smith, Catalunya Moto2 2011
Bradley Smith
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MM - Unregistered

June 07, 2011 1:08 PM

It was bad luck to get tagged in the Takahashi and Luthi incident but good luck to escape what could've been a more serious outcome. Better luck for this weekend.

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