MotoGP » Bradley Smith:

Unlocking the package

The Bradley Smith blog is brought to you by Optimum Procurement
In his latest blog for, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie Bradley Smith reviews the San Marino Grand Prix and Monday's post-race test at Misano...

We have been testing all day on Monday at Misano to figure out what went wrong during the last couple of races and I'm hopeful we have found a good direction.

It was a very positive day and we leave for the next round in Aragon a lot closer to where we need to be and more confident for the rest of the season.

Our weakness at the moment is when we race on circuits that lack grip and so we knew Misano would be tough. We need to discover how to find that grip because the other Yamaha riders might complain, but are going one and a half seconds a lap quicker.

It's not a case of trusting the traction control more because I tried to highside myself in the race a few times to see if I could make it work. Unfortunately it's just lacking something. It's been an ongoing problem throughout the season, when in the colder conditions in the morning we are always struggling and have to wait until the afternoon to get up to speed which makes it tough at circuits that lack grip.

We thought we'd found the solution at Brno but on reflection it was not the magic setting we hoped it was. Brno had grip and made all our small problems go away and showed with grip the bike is balanced and I can produce decent lap times. Unfortunately at low grip race tracks I'm just lacking that type of feeling from the Bridgestones or the set-up of the bike.

We need to find the key to unlock the problem because we are lacking grip in every single corner which completely rules out suspension settings, which change corner to corner. It's the fundamentals on how I sit on the bike and make the tyres grip which is a little bit more difficult to try and understand.

Qualifying 1 on Saturday afternoon showed we had nothing left when I crashed at the end trying to get into the top two. Sometimes people say you still have half a second but I had nothing more and had absolutely got everything I could out of the bike. I was not interested in listening to the warnings and I just wanted to find another 0.2 s and get into Qualifying 2 but I did not have it in my armoury. I want to be better and I don't want to be slow.

One plus point is that I'm having no problems with my starts. I've decided that it's giving me the best possible opportunities and I promise you if I could follow other riders I would but I can't. At the end of the day if it was a case of just follow the others it would be simple because I was seventh round the first corner and if the bike was right I could follow from there, but I had four or five big moments and I could have landed up on my backside

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September 18, 2013 3:50 PM

Well - I LIKE his blogs, & I like his honest self- appraisal and analytical style - what he says makes sense and shows he's got plenty north of the eyebrows too. As for being privileged - well he ain't alone there. Hardly anyone without serious help gets a shot - maybe the last was CS, and his parents threw everything into it and gambled BIG to get him there. Some posters forget as well that while BS has a satellite bike, its a parts-bin special compared to what Cal has, let alone what VR & JL run. Allow for the kit Bradl & Bautista get & at BEST he's got a bike that might achieve a 6th/7th, & maybe its really only as good as his results. We cant know. Its NOT a level playing field FFS, and we cannot compare BS as a rookie with MM where he has the best of everything. Some posters should engage brain before knuckling on their keyboards I think.


September 18, 2013 1:09 PM

Don, You are certainly right that Bradley is lucky. Bike racing is accessible to all at club level, but certainly not at National and above. Sadly we Briits are fishing from a smaller pond than other countries. Give you and other bikers a year on a GP bike and chances are you will still not be competitive at club level. Unless you are hugely exaggerating to make your point then you clearly don't appreciate the level that anyone on the GP grid is operating at. I raced a few years at club. Reasonable top 10 but never going to win anything. It made me good enough to thrash just about anyone on a track day. The guys winning the club races would get thrashed by national riders, and the national riders would usually get thrashed by international riders. The standard that Smith is operating at is staggering compared to your regular rider. I don't think many people realise that. He may or may not make the final step to be able to get the best out of a prototype, but unless you are MM or

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