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Smith column: 90 per cent happy.

When I was much younger and racing in Motocross I always dreamed about racing in America one day. Finally that dream comes true next weekend. Not only am I racing in America but at Indianapolis one of the most famous race circuits in the world and also on the back of probably my best ever grand prix race and result.

I've only been to America once and that was eight years ago to Disney World and so you can imagine just how excited I am to race at Indianapolis, the home of the Indy 500. I go there in such a positive frame of mind after my second place at Misano on Sunday.

I was ten per cent disappointed at not winning but 90 per cent happy with being able to stay with Gabor Talmacsi and open up such a big advantage over everybody else.

I was racing against the world champion and managed to stay with and even lead him at one stage. He's right back to his very best form and I learnt so much following him at such a fast pace. Neither of us looked behind once during the whole 22 laps which shows the pace we were setting.

I set my fastest lap of the weekend right at the end of the second qualifying session and so we didn't know exactly what pace I could set in the race. I made a good start and was able to keep Gabor in sight and around half distance I saw a puff of smoke from his rear tyre. As I passed him I thought his engine might have seized. I pushed so hard for the next two laps but when I checked my pit board it told me he was right on my rear wheel. I had a quick look at one of the big screens round the circuit and there he was right behind.

Gabor told me later that he missed a gear and changed down to first instead of second going into the left hand corner causing the puff of smoke. He passed me and I tried so hard to stay with him but with five laps remaining I realised I would have to settle for second. It was a great result for my Polaris World Aprilia team who are based at Misano and it was a thank-you from me for all the hard work they put in on my behalf.

Gabor and I opened a big advantage over the pursuing pack which was a good thing because it got pretty rough back there. I've watched the video and Simone Corsi needed to beat Mike di Meglio and not try to make him crash. It was all getting a bit silly and the world champion is the fastest rider and not the rider who causes others to crash.

It was even tougher in the 250 cc race and my team-mate Mattia Pasini was lucky to get away without injury after a 160 mph collision. Banked over at that speed any contact at that angle of lean causes a chain reaction and he was really lucky not to hurt himself. Misano is narrow and when it's all going on it's difficult to remain cool but you must try.

Last week I had a great trip to Valencia to look round the new Formula One street circuit. It was amazing and especially the paddock with those three story hospitality units. I met Red Bull driver Mark Webber and he invited me to sit in his car. It was quite tight getting in and the cockpit was very complex with so many buttons. Mark then came to Misano and had a good look at my bike which is nothing like as complicated. He lives near Oxford and we are planning a few training cycle rides together which be great fun.

I've just had a look at the Indianapolis schedule and see that our first practice session on Friday morning starts at 8.30 which will mean getting out of bed really early. A small price to play to race at one of the most famous circuits in the world - I can't wait.

Bradley

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Smith, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
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Smith, Jojic Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
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Smith, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Smith, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Smith, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Smith, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
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boolbool - Unregistered

September 04, 2008 4:09 PM

You have to say the guys who disagree with wishing a young rising star the best of luck are complete morons... did you read the posts??? did you read any negative comment?



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