9 August 2015
MotoGP Indianapolis: Early race pace a priority for confident Smith
Bradley Smith feels comfortable on worn tyres, recognises a good start is imperative to achieving his aims in the Indianapolis Grand Prix
Bradley Smith was satisfied after qualifying sixth for the MotoGP encounter at Indianapolis and believes his current performances on track are speaking louder than any words.
The Englishman posted an impressive second fastest time on Saturday morning before outperforming fellow 'Factory' Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Pol Espargaro in the 15-minute qualifying session.
Looking ahead to Sunday's race, Smith feels the hard tyre is the best option for the 27 laps and feels he still needs to work on some consistency with traction control settings.
“We haven't really changed the bike that much, but obviously the track conditions got a little bit better,” he said. “I feel a big difference on the soft tyre compared to the hard tyre, I'm still struggling to get the feeling I need on the hard tire, but towards the end of FP4, we were able to do some low 1m 33s, so I'm happy enough.
“I seem to get faster as the tyre gets older, which is always a good thing. Especially on the final part of the race here. It will be difficult tomorrow, the Ducatis are going to be strong, especially at the beginning of the race because they are going to have the softer compound, so we need to try to fight as much as possible to try and stay in front of them, and then see where I am position wise in the second half of the race.
“I think it's impossible to use the medium tomorrow, much safer option to use the harder one. Just need to work a little bit more on the setting to try and make it work better for me.
“I think I need to try and find a little bit more consistency and base on the harder tire, and save the tire as much as possible. One of the worst things to do is to get too much temperature in the tire, because then it drops off even more. Just find that balance and work a little bit more with the traction control in the right places, and try and keep that temperature down and consistency going.”
Smith's progress in the German Grand Prix was stunted early on as he got caught behind the fast starting Yonny Hernandez. With Danilo Petrucci starting one place ahead of him around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Englishman knows a good start is a priority.
“It's really important [to get past Petrucci], but my practice starts have been good so far, so I just need to see what I can do and what can happen. It's important to get in front of him, because like I said, even with the factory boys, they're going to be in the way with that soft compound at the beginning of the race. Try not to get held up, get a good start and try and put a couple of riders between me and him.”
Asked if there were any updates on his current contract situation, Smith added, “Nothing new. At the end of the day, I think I've said everything I need to say or should say. Today's performance, I don't need to say anything else: second this morning and second fastest Yamaha this afternoon. I'm doing my job, and going everything I need to do, I just need to wait for those people to do the same.”
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