MotoGP » Bradley Smith:

Valencia finale

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Cold, wet and bored sums up my feelings on the Monday after the final grand prix of the season in Valencia.

My brand new 2012 Tech 3 Mistral machine sits gleaming in the pit garage, but she does not want to get dirty and wet and so we have missed a complete day of testing because of the weather.

No partying last night, early to bed and then a big breakfast only for what should have been a day of testing to be rained off.

You don't expect this kind of weather in Spain but it's been like it ever since we arrived last Wednesday.

The weekend started so positively when I was passed fit to ride on Thursday afternoon but from that moment it all became pretty frustrating. I didn't strap up the collarbone on Friday for the first two practice sessions.

It rained in the first session and so I only did a few laps not wanting to take any risks. In the afternoon I was hoping to complete a few more. The track was like an ice rink and I crashed in typical Valencia style at the first right-hander, but the collarbone was fine which gave me real confidence to push on for Saturday.

It was dry on Saturday morning and I was happy with my progress, but kept a few laps back to save the energy with my collarbone and arm but once again that rain returned.

Qualifying was like a kamikaze session and the first couple of laps in the actual race. With the rain starting to fall after a couple of laps I just closed my eyes and pulled out the pin and was really happy to qualify twelfth in a real lottery.

It was damp and cold for the race but I made a great start in the real dodgy conditions, but half a lap in told myself to settle down because I could feel myself going over the top. I was not waiting and just blasting through holes that appeared in front of me.

I was up to fifth and passed Mika Kallio diving into turn one. At turn two I saw his front wheel come up alongside me and ran a little off line. It was damp out there and I lost the front and went down. The collarbone did a great job but there was very little left of my knee slider when I finally stopped sliding.

Not the end of the season I wanted and it's been a tough last month but I'm still really happy with my first Moto2 season.

We exceeded all our expectations - while knowing we did not do as well as we could have done. We did makes mistakes, which I'm sure will make us even stronger in 2012.

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MM - Unregistered

November 08, 2011 11:40 PM

Who knows how competitive the Tech 3 Mistral chassis has been through the season compared with the FTR, Kalex or the 2012 Suter for that matter? Tech 3 haven't done as much testing as some other teams, particularly one that everyone can mention. At the start of the year, quite a lot of people here were saying that Redding would leave Smith for dead but no doubt they were just part of Redding's "well oiled publicity machine." Smith has outperformed his team mate(s) at most races this year. After being forced wide and crashing out on Sunday he remounted and rode to the end. The fallers also included plenty of non-UK riders, including the new world champion, so full marks for effort. It might help if Crash was able or willing to get more insight into the team effort behind racing to give better understanding of why a rider's peformance can vary dramatically. Although riders have their favourite and bogey circuits, when they have a bad weekend it's not because they've forgotten how to ride

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