MotoGP » Bradley Smith:

Crazy, scary times!

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Hi guys,

These are really crazy times for a 20-year-old, after a surreal 21-hour day on Sunday! I got up with the sun just rising outside my Aragón hotel, and it was nearly time for it to re-appear when I got home to bed in Oxfordshire on Monday morning. In-between, I'd fought through to sixth place from the fifth row of the Moto2 grid in Spain, and announced that I will be joining the MotoGP World Championship in 2013.

I can't tell you just how happy I am to have been offered a three-year deal by Tech 3, which is almost unheard of in grand prix motorcycle racing. The faith the team and its owner Hervé Poncharal have shown in me just makes me even more determined to thank them with a third place in the Moto2 Championship this year and a big championship challenge next year before that 1,000cc Yamaha will give me – and the opportunity to race against the very best riders in the world in 2013 and 2014.

It's hard to take in all in one go. I never thought I'd start a grand prix, but I did in 2006. I never thought I'd finish on the podium, never thought I'd win a grand prix, never thought I'd challenge for a world championship, never thought I'd ride in Moto2 and never thought I'd finish on the Moto2 podium and challenge for third place in the championship. Finally, I never thought I'd get the opportunity to ride in MotoGP. It's all a bit scary!

The decision to stay in Moto2 in 2012 was one of the hardest of my life, but I believe that together, we can be fighting at the front from the start of next season and pushing to challenge for the championship. Now the deal has been announced, all our thoughts and efforts will be 100 per cent focussed on the final four grands prix of the season and developing the bike for next year. It will be a tough fight for third with the likes of Andrea Iannone and Alex De Angelis going well in the last two races, but I was pleased with my race on Sunday after qualifying had gone badly.

I crashed in Saturday morning practice. I just slipped off, but the bike slid and then got caught on a ripple and took off, which caused a lot of damage when it landed. We could not fully fix it for qualifying, which meant I started from the fifth row down in 15th place. The team worked all night rebuilding the bike from zero and fitting a new engine, and in the morning warm-up, I knew they'd done a brilliant job – but I still needed a good start! I got boxed in, though, and on the back straight on the first lap there were 17 riders in front of me and I knew it was going to be tough – which it was.

As I was overtaking people, I kept thinking, 'this might be the last one', but I just got my head down. It was definitely a crazy battle, but really good fun. There were a lot of close moves, and I loved every minute of it! It was something that I hadn't done for a while, and holding my own in a tough fight is something I've been told I'm no good at – so I put a few things straight this weekend. It was a great fight, and finishing sixth was a good result after all the problems, so once again, thanks to the team.

The week before, I had competed in the Valencia Triathlon, which was a great event. I managed some laps on the F1 track on the pushbike in the competition. I finished fifth in the under-23 class and 85th overall and really enjoyed it. This Sunday, I'm going to Silverstone for the British Superbike Championship, which is producing some great racing and I hope to meet plenty of you there.

Then it's that long flight to Japan for the grand prix at Motegi a week on Sunday. I'm excited, because I like the circuit and I've finished on the podium there. The grand prix was scheduled to take place earlier in the year, but following the tragic events including the earthquake and tsunami that followed, it was postponed. There has been a lot of discussion about going to Japan, but I'm not only looking forward to racing there but also to showing support and condolence to all those who have suffered after such a tragic time for the Japanese people.


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Related Pictures

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Bradley Smith, Tech 3, Motorland Aragon, Moto2, 2011
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Bradley Smith
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Pete Lacey - Unregistered

September 20, 2011 9:11 PM

Bradley, you put in a fantastic performance again last week in Aragon and as usual the Moto2 race was once again the most exciting of the three to watch. I doubt there are many fans of motorcycle racing around the UK that don't wish you great success and want you win. Keep up the good work because we are all out there rooting for you to do well. Good luck.

Chris Whiteley - Unregistered

September 21, 2011 8:05 AM

It never fails to impress me on how mature Bradders is and how well he conducts himself with the press and everyone in the sport. I think his professional approach and dedication have got him the opportunity that many on here dont think he deserves. Thats a shame because hes a genuinely nice lad who obviously has talent. I think his rise will be a 'slow burn' and his time in the GP paddock will pay off! Good luck Bradley!!!

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