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Seeing red in Spain

3 May 2012

In the latest of his 2012 blogs for Crash.net, Tech 3 Moto2 star Bradley Smith looks back on last Sunday's red-flagged Spanish round and ahead to Estoril...

I'm sitting in the sunshine at the Portimao Marina before travelling to Estoril for this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix contemplating what the weather is going to bring.

The greedy ego part of me wants it to rain for the race because in Jerez last weekend I was quick in the wet and fancy a decent result. However that would be a quick fix because we need more dry track time to sort out the bike after a pretty tough start to the season. So dry would be best, but rain would not be the end of the world - not that we have any choice.

Certainly the rain came at the wrong time at Jerez - stopping the race when I was coming through the field after starting so far back on the grid. I'd just set the fourth fastest lap of the race in the dry and I reckon a top eight finish was on the cards.

It was going to be a right old battle with Johan Zarco, Dominique Aegerter and Andrea Iannone to the finish but then the rain arrived. When the red flag came out I was actually tenth but the results have to go back a lap and so it was eleventh.

I'd watched so many riders crash in the Moto3 race on the slippery track and was cautious at the start and took some time to find my feet in the early laps but there were some positive signs we had to stop.

Starting from the sixth row of the grid after qualifying 19th made it tough from the start. Qualifying was a bit of a disaster. We'd been fine in the wet practice sessions but in the dry qualifying nothing worked.

I had a real numpty moment with the new Dunlop front tyre and crashed at turn nine. The marshals wanted my session to end there and then and I ended up in a pulling match with five big lads who were trying to park the bike at the side of the track.

You only have one bike in Moto2 and so that would have been that. Eventually they got in a sulk and went back behind their barrier and I was on my tod trying to start the bike. There is always a massive crowd on the hillside there and they were giving the marshals all sorts of verbals and eventually two of them came back out to give me a push.

The crowd went crazy and as I fired up I gave a pumped fist salute to thank them for their help. It was definitely the best part of a pretty frustrating afternoon.

For the race we went back to the same set-up we had in the middle of last season and that's what we will start with in Estoril. I'm excited about this weekend because there was a glimmer of hope in Jerez which hopefully will be a kick start for us.

I can ensure you either I or the team are at all happy fighting for tenth place, but we are staying optimistic because there are still 15 rounds remaining.

Finally congratulations to both Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding for their fourth places after two awesome rides in Jerez. They certainly gave the British TV fans plenty to cheer about and I want to join them on Sunday, rain or no rain.

Bradley


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