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MotoGP Indianapolis: Smith: Obviously I’m second in line

Bradley Smith says he is 'disappointed' with his current contract situation with Yamaha but had a meeting concerning 2016 on Friday evening at Indianapolis
Bradley Smith was planning to have talks to resolve his contract situation on Friday evening with Yamaha but was disappointed to be 'obviously second in line' with the manufacturer.

Having won the factory's first Suzuka 8 Hour since 1996 over the summer break, Smith had been hopeful a new Tech 3 contract would have been resolved before now.

Instead he had to watch team-mate Pol Espargaro announce that he would stay with the team and manufacturer a further year on the first day of free practice at Indianapolis.

Speaking on Friday evening, Smith told journalists that he expected to have a meeting that night to resolve some details but was frustrated that the manufactuer's priority was to deal with Espargaro's situation before his.

“I still haven't had any meetings,” said Smith after FP2. “I know my manager had a meeting over the concerns that I had last night, but actually, me, personally, nothing. I plan to have a little bit of a sit down and talk about a few things tonight, but at the end of the day, I can't see things being announced this weekend.

“We're not far enough down the line to be doing that type of thing. At the end of the day, it's clear the intentions of Yamaha, by signing Pol and announcing it straight away. But I just have to play the waiting game and I'm obviously second in line at the minute.”

While it is widely expected that Smith will stay with Yamaha and Tech 3 after an excellent start to 2015, which has brought about six top six finishes and fifth overall in the world championship standings, the handling of the situation has 'disappointed' the Brit.

“It is frustrating. But it's something that I just have to accept, and I have to deal with, unfortunately. You judge things by people's actions, and today or yesterday, or whenever the announcement was, obviously it is a clear action and indication of their focus point. I just have to accept that and continue to do the best I can and work with my side of the team.

"Like I said, with Tech 3 themselves, I have absolutely no problem at all, they're giving me 100% support all the time. Inside my garage, I couldn't ask for a better bunch of guys. At the end of the day, Hervé has been 100% behind me for a very long time now. It's just that with the manufacturer in general, it's something I'm a little bit disappointed with.”

Turning his attentions to Friday's free practice session, in which he finished ninth overall, Smith was pleased with his overall consistency.

“[It was] A little bit better this afternoon. We were able to try the hard front tyre, and also the hard rear tyre, so we could get a little bit more information about that. The track definitely improved quite a lot. It's difficult still to say at the minute, because tomorrow it's going to improve again, but in terms of race pace, at least I was consistent. I was consistent on the soft tire and the hard tire.

“Still we don't really know the direction, especially on the rear. On the front I think it's clear, everyone is going to need to run the harder of the options, but the rear is going to need a little bit more work. It's a long race here, so although you can gain something in the first five or six laps with the soft one, I'm not sure that it will stay consistent for the whole period. But they've modified it a little bit from last year, and I think it's a step in the right direction, but when you look at Jorge's pace on the hard tire, I think that's the number one for us to focus on at the minute.”

The afternoon session was notable for Pol Espargaro's spectacular highside on the exit of turn 13 and Smith had similar issues attempting to find rear grip.

“It's just trying to figure out the right balance between power and traction control and also grip,” he continued. “It's one of those tracks where you feel like you've got good grip, then all of a sudden it kind of disappears quite quickly. That corner as well, you hang off quite a lot, and before you know it, the rear goes.

“When you hang off so much, you don't really know how much the rear is stepping out, so it actually catches you a little bit more than you would realise. But that's going to be the main focus for tomorrow, trying to find a setting that's a little bit more user friendly. We're never going to stop it from sliding, it's going to slide all the time, but hopefully a bit more user friendly would be the plan.”

Tagged as: Smith , Espargaro , Bradl

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Smith, German MotoGP 2015
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Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso, Vinales Australian MotoGP, 23rd October 2016

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August 08, 2015 12:06 PM

Keep your mouth shut Bradley, get your head down and do the job youre paid to do for the rest of the season. Finish top 6 or 7 every race and beat your team mate, its all you can do. No one expects you to win races against the full works bikes. If they offer you a works ride WSB jump at it as its your only chance of a world title. History.


August 08, 2015 12:10 PM

few stats last year was the first time since 2007 that the factory backed M1 Tech3 wasn't put on the podium, looking to be the same this year. this is the first time that the tech3 owned M1 is heading the factory backed M1 in the championship this year is the first time the Tech3 owned M1 has been put on the podium well done Brad and not so well done Pol

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