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MotoGP Italy: Smith confident of good race after lowly qualifying

Bradley Smith is confident he has found a well-balanced set-up and can challenge the top satellite riders after qualifying eleventh for Sunday's Italian MotoGP
Bradley Smith admitted that he partly sacrificed his MotoGP qualifying performance in order to put the finishing touches to his race set up on Saturday afternoon.

The Englishman qualified in eleventh, one place behind team-mate Pol Espargaro, for Sunday's 23-lap race at Mugello, as the Ducatis and Suzukis maximised their soft tyre advantage in Q2.

Nevertheless, Smith refused to be downbeat and believes a good race is possible thanks to a consistent pace he found in FP4.

"I'm certain that I can score a good result in the race tomorrow, despite making things a bit difficult for myself by qualifying in eleventh,” he said. “With the times being so close, it was tough and I didn't have a perfect lap around the circuit in QP2.

“We changed the bike quite a lot in FP4 in order to gain a good setup for the race. Yet, when you make big changes, it's a bit of a gamble, especially for qualifying so it was difficult to extract the best that I could in such a small amount of time, which is why I am back in 11th.”

When detailing his strategy for the race, the Tech3 Yamaha man stated that a good start would be critical in determining his final position.

“I still feel confident for the race as the setup we have now is very consistent. Usually my starts are good so tomorrow, I need to have a strong launch and then fight onwards. There's a lot of open bikes in front of me but at the end of the day, the race is long so I simply need to try and overtake as many riders as I can throughout the race, be smart at the beginning and we will see where we can go from there."

Tagged as: Smith , Espargaro , Bradl

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