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Bradley Smith: Qatar

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Bradley Smith's blog began in 2008, when the Englishman was a teenager in the 125cc World Championship.

We are proud to confirm that Bradley will continue his blog in 2013, as he steps up to the premier MotoGP class - starting this weekend in Qatar...

It still all seems a bit surreal. I'm in Qatar preparing for my first MotoGP race. I'm excited and of course a little bit nervous, but I'm ready to start the biggest adventure of my life on Sunday under the floodlights.

A year and a half go I'd never considered riding in a MotoGP race. This was a Championship I watched from the sidelines or on the television as I fought for wins in the 125 and Moto2 races. It was only when Herve Poncharal from the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team approached me about riding in the MotoGP team I realised I could be part of it.

I have no massive expectations at this first race especially as we are running low on track testing time because of the weather. I'm pretty relaxed at the moment although that may not be the case at 22.00 on Sunday night.

I think we will have achieved a good base to start if I can make it into Qualifying two, which means being in the top ten. A similar position in the race would set us up well for the second grand prix at Austin in Texas and then it's into Europe.

We have quietly got on with our job in testing and that's what we will do throughout the season as I learn something new about the bike and MotoGP every single day.

I discovered a long time ago in my schoolboy Motocross days there is nothing you can do about the weather. When it rained at the final MotoGP test in Jerez I had to adapt to the situation and riding in the wet actually gave me more idea what a MotoGP bike is all about.

It gave me more time to work and emphasise on my riding and technique. I also had my eyes opened when I was able to follow World Champions Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow riding behind them for a couple of laps at different times during the three days.

All three are so smooth through the corners and that is the key area for me to work on. I knew from their data just how smooth they were and following them just reiterated on what I must do. I still tend to ride into the corners like a 125 and Moto2 rider turning in late but you can't do that on a MotoGP bike and smoothness is the key.

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