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Smith aiming to close the gap at Jerez

"My goal at Jerez will be to get closer to the front, hopefully down towards 1-0.8sec off" - Bradley Smith.
MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith heads for the final pre-season test at Jerez aiming to move within one-second of the fastest lap time.

The new Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider finished 1.8 and then 1.7sec from the top during the two Sepang tests, but believes the flowing nature of the Jerez circuit and increased time on the YZR-M1 could play into his hands.

"I still need to learn how to unleash the full potential from the bike," Smith told

"I seemed to have figured out the fast and flowing parts pretty quickly, it's more the stop-start stuff, where you need to put a lot of trust in the front tyre and hustle it around where I need to improve.

"Looking at Jerez, it is a lot more towards a flowing, smooth style so it'll be interesting just to get there and see how I feel because that seems to be my strong point. At Sepang there were four hard-braking areas into tight corners where I was losing a fair chunk of time. Jerez really only has hard braking into turn one and the end of the back straight.

"My goal at Jerez will be to get closer to the front, hopefully down towards 1-0.8sec off."

Smith has ridden his M1 for seven days since a damp debut at Valencia last November. The closest Smith has been to the front so far was day two of the first Sepang visit, when he lapped 1.382s from fastest rider Dani Pedrosa (Honda).

The young Englishman went on to finish eighth overall at that test. Smith was then ranked tenth during the return outing, after factory Ducati riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso edged ahead.

The Jerez MotoGP test takes place from March 22-25, followed by the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix in early April.

Related Pictures

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Smith, Sepang 2 tests, February 2013
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March 19, 2013 10:48 AM

How has he got this ride? Through many years of being a consistent GP finisher, race winner and biting his tongue when his Tech 3 Mistral obviously wasn't up to the job. There's nothing wrong with his times/pace and I think it's quite likely that as he adapts to the bike he'll be back in front of the Ducatis and sitting on the tail of Bradl. I think that's all you can ask from the kid?

pp916 - Unregistered

March 19, 2013 1:38 PM

Why did he get the ride? Because Herve Poncheral clearly sees in him something worth supporting.....its his team, he can do what th fu*k he likes when it comes to rider choice.....and Yamaha don't seem to be complaining. If your preference is for another rider then raise the funds, set up a team and support to be easy, right?

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