MotoGP » Bradley Smith:

Catalunya MotoGP: Super sixth - then surgery

The result shows the progress we have made and how much I've learned. I'm still not 100 per cent satisfied and there are areas to be worked on, but I was glad I didn't make any mistakes and was able to limit the time I lost in those first ten laps.

Hopefully we can continue the progress in Assen but I'm not getting above my station because there is still so much to learn.

MotoGP bikes are extremely fickle beasts and a little bit like my dog. They sense when you are nervous and not confident. If you get them working in the right way they will give you the confidence to do what you like with them.

The Yamaha likes you to push it but be smooth and relaxed. When you are nervous your input becomes too aggressive, making you tense on the bike which then does not do what it is supposed to do. You get more tense and into a downward spiral and crash as I did on Friday.

When you are a little reserved on the bike and not generating the right tyre temperature, the correct load and G force the bike feels completely wrong. At the moment every Friday of a MotoGP weekend feels like that when I ride at eight tenths and the bike does not like it. You have to ride them at ten tenths with confidence and belief to keep them happy.

It's a strange scenario and I've got to understand that Friday is my learning day. Then you get a day like Saturday. I got to grips with the bike, learned the circuit improved my lap times by 1.7 seconds and then everything felt hunky dory propelling me into Qualifying two after leading the first qualifying session.

Right from the start we were making progress and in free practice four I really felt we were on the right track. At the end of the day I could have done with one more session and always feel I'm one session short, but I knew we had good race pace and when the tyres were old I felt confident about the balance of the bike.

We knew the toughest part was going to be the early laps and I worked hard to set good lap times knowing I would come strong towards the end and be able to maintain my lap times when other riders started to fade.

I had a lot of confidence with our setting and while many riders crashed in those early laps I knew how hard I could push and had a had a really good feeling with the brake and front tyre. I had a couple of moments but had control because I knew the limit of the front tyre.

One thing I did learn over the weekend was I would have never made it onto the books of the Oxford United let alone Barcelona. It was a fantastic experience to play football on the hallowed turf of the Nou Camp in Barcelona on Thursday in the MotoGP versus Moto2/3 game but I don't think the Barcelona fans were that impressed.

Better stick to bikes.


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June 18, 2013 4:34 PM

I'm surprised that this has no comments on it... oh wait, that's right, Bradley had a brilliant 6th place at the weekend... with injuries. The haters are spewing in their Armitage Shanks. Better than them spewing their bile on here right enough! Well done, Bradders. A great result!


June 18, 2013 10:28 PM

@ Bradfan38 In your view anyone who considers Bradley Smith to be underperforming is branded a hater. You are wrong. The fact is Bradley is qualifying poorly and therefore starting races in the midfield. Circulating in tenth position and staying out of trouble will never get him a podium AND finishing 30 odd seconds behind the winner on a satellite M1 is simply not good enough. I wish Bradley Smith well in his recovery from the hand injury.

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