19 October 2014
MotoGP Australia: Smith: I thought something was wrong with the screen!
A jubilant Bradley Smith savours his first MotoGP podium as he plays his part in Yamaha's first 1-2-3 result since 2008 in Australia.
Bradley Smith has joked that he didn't initially believe he had secured his first MotoGP World Championship podium at Phillip Island after being promoted to third place on the final lap at the expense of the crashing Cal Crutchlow.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider made a strong start from fourth on the grid to initially nose ahead into the first turns, but 'too much aggression' on the opening laps would shuffle him down the order, where he became embroiled in the tight mid-pack.
However, in a race that would see Stefan Bradl and Aleix Espargaro collide, Marc Marquez fall, Pol Espargaro crash out ahead and Crutchlow slip out of second on the final lap, Smith simply took advantage to keep his Yamaha upright to the chequered flag.
Indeed, having not realised Crutchlow had exited the race further up the road, Smith came across the line not realising he had broken his MotoGP podium duck, initially choosing to believe the graphic on the big screen was incorrect instead.
“I did a really good start and tried to push at the beginning but I was far too aggressive and had lots of big moments. I nearly crashed three or four times in the opening two laps, so I had to take it down a peg or two. Then I ended up in that battle, which I think had five or six of us in.
“It felt like a 125/Moto3 race, every time passing each other. I was lucky I spotted Stefan out of the corner of my eye because I could see he was coming in really fast and ended up hitting Aleix and nearly collected myself and Andrea.
“I then had to focus on catching and passing Pol, but he went down in front of me and I think Cal on the last lap, but I didn't see that so I didn't know what position I was when I finished.
“I came across the line and I saw 'third and Smith' and I thought something was wrong with that screen! Then I saw Valentino and Jorge there and I thought I am the only other one here, so at the next corner I really saw and I started making a weird noise inside my helmet!”
A landmark moment for the British rider, who played his part in giving Yamaha its first 1-2-3 result in six years, Smith is thrilled to call himself a MotoGP podium winner.
“It hasn't sunk in fully,” he continued. “I suppose you always dream about the first podium and how it would feel, but it just blew me away the amount of fans who came out on the home straight. I am normally in my garage listening to the Spanish or Italian national anthems so to be up there and be part of that celebration with Yamaha, that is very cool."
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