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MotoGP: Smith frustrated when 'support doesn't go both ways'

Bradley Smith feels disappointed that improvements with the Movistar Yamaha's set-up in Phillip Island weren't passed down to his team before the race
Bradley Smith was disappointed there was no 'leaking down' of information from the Factory Movistar team to his Tech 3 squad at last weekend's Australian MotoGP.

On Thursday at Sepang the Englishman, who lost ground to Dani Pedrosa in the three-way fight for fifth in the world championship, went on to say he felt frustrated when “the support doesn't go both ways” between the two Yamaha teams.

Smith's comments came after he and team-mate Pol Espargaro were struggling to find a solution for the lack of rear grip around the Australian track on Sunday morning, a time when factory runners Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made a clear step forward.

Advice to the Satellite Yamaha squad wasn't forthcoming however, something that frustrated Smith, who feels he and Espargaro have helped the Factory men on numerous occasions during their time in MotoGP.

“It was a change that Yamaha made in warm-up and then ran it in the race,” said Smith on Thursday. “It's frustrating that information like that doesn't leak down to us. This was a weekend when I was struggling, I was something like 14th in morning warm-up, and I think that they should have been coming down to us and suggesting things to us. Unfortunately it's almost as if you have to learn it for yourself. There's not the same level of support compared to the factory team and unless we learn it ourselves we won't find it.

“So we have to go digging for it and find a solution or the information doesn't come. It's frustrating because we're supposed to be under the same umbrella and I know for sure that we've helped the factory team when they've been in difficult situations by having meetings and giving them support. It's frustrating when the support doesn't go both ways but it's the same for Pol so there's no favoritism within our team, it's just a case of not supporting a satellite team.”

Smith endured a difficult Saturday of qualifying in Australia, and was fighting an uphill battle as he started from twelfth on the grid.

Having adapted his riding style through the weekend to deal with the lack of grip, Smith was ultimately proud of his showing in the race, and felt he couldn't have done any more with the equipment and set-up available to him.

“I wanted to learn from Phillip Island and I studied everything that I can do as a rider and when we looked at the data I was picking it up earlier than Jorge and Valentino, I had it more upright, was smoother with the throttle but was still spinning much worse than they were. It turned out that on Sunday they ran a completely different setting and didn't pass the information on to us. Obviously that makes me quite disgruntled because if we're all in it together and allowed to see data why wasn't that information passed down?

“I have to take it for what it is though and learn from it and be ready for Phillip Island next year. The setting was an attempt to generate more grip with a shorter wheelbase and other changes. We didn't even have it suggested to us and that's frustrating because it obviously worked for them in the race.

“Looking at my data 0.7s was lost each lap from a lap of drive and that's just free time in a straight. There was nothing that I could do in it and for me I was probably losing a few tenths from my riding style and lines but I was losing six tenths on the straights and with that time I think that I would have been in the hunt with maverick and Cal. That's frustrating for me but I take pride that I did all that I could during the race.”

Looking ahead to Sepang, Smith is encouraged by the race simulation he completed testing here in February. The focus is firmly on improving his 'drop-off' period in his race runs.

“Times were good here during the test and I had a look at my race simulation from the test and I was pleasantly surpried by how consistent it was. Looking at where we dropped off in the race simulation is February is now our target and trying to work out on the traction control and maps to get the most out of the bike in the race is the focus.

“A lot of it though will come down to how the track is. It hasn't rained here in 20 days and the track looks like it's in really bad condition. When you go round it looks dirty, dusty and unused so it'll take tomorrow at least to rubber it up. I'll have to keep a clear head for tomorrow and then work on settings. We've had six days testing here so it should be ok.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Smith, San Marino MotoGP 2015
Lorenzo, German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP race 2017
Smith, German MotoGP race 2017
Smith, German MotoGP race 2017
Smith, German MotoGP race 2017
Pedrosa, German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, Kallio, Zarco German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, Kallio, Zarco German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, Iannone German MotoGP race 2017
Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Aleix Espargaro German MotoGP race 2017
Smith, German MotoGP race 2017
Marquez, Pedrosa, Folger German MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Redding German MotoGP race 2017
Marquez, Pedrosa German MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Lowes German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP race 2017
Marquez, Pedrosa, Lorenzo German MotoGP race 2017

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October 23, 2015 9:20 AM

Don't agree with the comments that Bradley is 'lucky' to have a Tech3 ride, he's more than justified his place in a good MotoGP team this season. And I can understand his frustration if Tech3 provide the factory team with data but don't get any back. Having said that, this is a discussion that Bradley should be having with Yamaha behind closed doors. This is not something he should be discussing in the media.


October 23, 2015 9:45 AM
Last Edited 2 days ago

Doug17: Perhaps if he stopped binning it so often he might get some more help.
Really? Only rider other than Rossi to finish every race this season? If you bin it in practice your finding the limits of the bike/conditions/track/Tyres, exactly so you don't bin it in the race.

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