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Smith column: Stopped by a hurricane.

They had been warning us all weekend at Indianapolis that the remnants of Hurricane Ike would strike the circuit. We kept waiting and waiting but typically when it did arrive it was in the middle of the 125cc race.

With the rain pouring down and the gale force winds blowing debris across the track the race had to be stopped but if only we could have continued - who knows what would have happened.

I was flying and catching the leaders after being knocked down to 27th place when Michael Ranseder crashed into the side of me and knocked me onto the kerb on the very first lap. He crashed but I just managed to stay on the bike.

At the end of that first lap I came into one of the most famous start and finish straights in world championship motorsport with those vast towering grandstands on either side, and my chances looked pretty grim. The leaders were racing into turn one and I was 12 seconds behind them.

All I could do was get my head down and try a bit of damage limitation and take some world championship points. My pace surprised me and I was faster than in practice and the warm-up. I passed loads of riders. In first to fifth gear the bike was equal to the others but in sixth it just took off.

I closed the gap on the leaders to just five seconds but the rain was pouring down and even more worrying was the wind that was blowing loads of litter and leaves across the track. Race Direction let the race continue until we'd completed enough laps not to have the race rerun and out came the red flag. I actually crossed the line in seventh place but the final positions are taken from the previous lap and so I had to settle for eighth.

Of course I wanted the race to continue because I had every chance of catching the leaders but it had to be stopped. Another good ride but another disappointing result. It's not about luck but the situation could be so very different. Sometimes what ever you do you just can't put a foot wrong while other times you just can't do anything right. The situation will change and in difficult times you learn so much more. In the last two races I've been the fastest rider apart from Talmacsi in Misano. In the next two races I will focus on a good start and keep out of the bumping and banging on those first few laps.

Apart from the weather they did a great job at Indianapolis. The track was better than I thought it would be after walking round. The new surface was slippery in the wet but the old Formula One track surface was the best wet surface I've ever raced on. The facilities were fantastic, the people very friendly and I loved those big motorised hair dryers they brought out to dry the track.

We now have two races in two weeks starting at Motegi in Japan a week on Sunday. I like the track and last year was lying fifth when my knee hit the kerb and I crashed. It's then straight to Australia and Phillip Island. Great race track but surely the coldest grand prix venue in the World. Forget those pictures of surf beaches and sunshine because the wind comes straight from the Antarctic across the sea and last year I never felt warm once through the whole weekend.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Smith, Indianapolis 125GP Race 2008
Smith, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP race 2017

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38"75 2 Graet Riders - Unregistered

September 16, 2008 8:14 PM

Bradley good to see you gave it a good go when Ranseder cut right across you on lap 1 Which letfed you 27 and that was pretty much your race over.But least you went down fighting from where you were 27 to 8 great result.Shame the flag came when it did cos as you said you were flying and was cacthing the front gruop so how no wot could have happened I love the bit when you said the bike just took of it 6 gear.Good luck at Motegi cos you done well there in the passed on the Honda which did suit the Honda cos it is there home track.So I think you can be very strong there on the Aprilia with that extra power good luck and hope the weather stay dry

idiot - Unregistered

September 18, 2008 7:38 AM

thorn, what was the point of the above post? Really? "And what exactly is so special about being british" You never will be so you'll never know...



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