Bradley Smith feels he can be confident for his future after making a belated first appearance on the Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP
machine during testing at Valencia.
With wet weather forcing him to spend the first day sat on the sidelines, Smith was finally given the opportunity to ride the M1 in both wet and dry conditions, completing 43 laps in total.
Getting his best lap down to 1min 34.538secs, Smith ended the day 11th fastest and a respectable 2.2sec adrift of Dani Pedrosa's lap recording-breaking pace up front.
Thrilled to experience the might of a MotoGP
machine for the first time, Smith is feeling more excited than ever for the 2013 season.
“This was a fantastic moment in my career and it is great to finally get chance to test the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 bike. This more than made up for yesterday's disappointment when I couldn't ride because of the weather and it actually worked out great for me because I rode in the wet and dry, and this is brilliant to help me build up my experience.
“Obviously the bike is completely different to anything I have ridden before, but it is an unbelievable machine. The power is incredible and in the dry when I came on the straight for the first time, I just had a huge smile. The level of technology is really impressive but I was able to consistently improve my time with every run and I am leaving very satisfied with my performance and confident in my potential for the future.
“Cal [Crutchlow] followed me for a couple of laps and gave me some tips and I really appreciate that. Cal had a fantastic season and I know I can learn a lot from him. I can go into the winter break now knowing what I need to work on in the future and I am glad we have plenty of testing ahead of us because there is so much to learn.”
Smith's performance also drew praise from Herve Poncharal, the Tech 3 Yamaha boss impressed with the youngster's conduct in tricky conditions.
“It is a shame that the weather played such a big part here because everybody had a lot of anticipation and excitement ahead of the first test for 2013. We certainly did because we have been keen to let Bradley begin learning about the YZR-M1.
“He did a few laps in the wet in the early part of the day and that would have given him some confidence because he has so much to learn about the tyres, power and electronics. It couldn't have been easy making his MotoGP
debut on a wet track but he looked immediately at home on the bike.
“I'm pleased that he could get some time on slick tyres and carbon brakes, so at least he knows what to expect when we resume testing in Sepang next February. He has a big challenge ahead of him but today was a very promising start.”