MotoGP » Bradley Smith:

Opening my MotoGP account in Austin

The Bradley Smith blog is brought to you by Optimum Procurement
In the latest of his 2013 blogs for, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith looks back on his debut points-scoring ride during round two in Austin, plus a visit to Laguna Seca and the Texas Tornado Boot Camp…

I've opened my MotoGP account. It may be a small step and twelfth is not where I want to finish, but to pass the chequered flag for the first time represents a real step forward for me and the team.

This was one real tough weekend and we came through it with those points and a wealth of invaluable experience, which gives us real confidence for the start of the European season.

The problems started even before we turned a wheel at the unbelievable new track just outside Austin.

A battery in a starter motor caught fire in our garage on Wednesday night/ Thursday morning which set off the sprinkler system. All our equipment was soaked and it was same story for factory Yamaha team, LCR Honda and Cardion AB.

The sprinkler system and the local fire brigade did a great job and without them everything could have been destroyed. The team also did a remarkable job to dry everything out and we got out on time for the first practice session.

I struggled with the track giving very little grip which made learning the technical long circuit very difficult. Both the grip and I improved in the second session, but I was a long way from the top riders going into Saturday.

Trying to understand the bike and Bridgestone tyres around such a technical track with so many blind corners and elevation changes was tough but I got a real boost on Saturday afternoon. I did not finish in the top ten after practice and so had to take part in the first qualifying session. I finished second and joined the top ten in the second session and finally qualified 11th which meant a fourth row start.

Bridgestone advised me to run a hard front tyre for the 21 lap race and it took me a few laps to understand how it worked. Also I was very tentative in those early stages not wanting a repeat of the Qatar crash. As I gained more confidence I could up the pace without that fear of crashing again.

Towards the end I was lapping as fast of some of the riders in the top ten and as quick as my qualifying times. Although I was tired I could have done with the race going on even longer and that was real sign just how much better I was riding the bike. I honestly was learning a little bit more on every single lap.

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April 23, 2013 6:06 PM

I always feel so let down when I read Bradley's fantastic blog and then click comments...there are some idiots on here. Sure he's no Marquez but in the end there are 4 maybe 5 people on the grid this year that can win races. The rest must learn and build their skills. In the end he's got the seat, if he's got it he deserves it, end of. Herve saw something in him he liked and he didn't see it in Pol Espagaro or anyone else. I imagine it's more than just being able to go fast too. He's a very very smart kid, he always knows exactly why he crashed or couldn't quite push it hard enough. In the end he'll be a contender, just my 2c

sete - Unregistered

April 23, 2013 6:27 PM

Overpromoted and underachment has followed Smith throughout his career. Let's face it Moto 2 was a disaster, and getting beaten by CRT bikes when you are on a Tech 3 Yamaha must be embarrasing. Smith is destined to be grid filler I'm afraid. He will be riding a CRT bike in 2 years, wait and see.Hey Crash! How about a Scott Redding blog instead..... that would be far more interesting.

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