While not sounding as enthusiastic on the recent improvements to KTM's RC16 as team-mate Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith nonetheless feels the factory made a “good step forward” at the MotoGP test at Valencia, but wants further confirmation before drawing any conclusions.

Espargaro repeatedly described himself as “super pumped” after improving his race pace by around half a second thanks to a new chassis, swingarm, wheel rims and electronics settings that were supplied over the two days.

Having worked through Espargaro’s Tuesday programme a day later, Smith was also positive regarding the changes, and said he was “super happy” with the improvement in race pace. The Englishman ended the two days with the 13th fastest time, 1.1s back of pace setter Marc Marquez.

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“The main objective was to get some clear direction with this bike, especially the rear of the bike, searching for grip,” said Smith. “Our second half of the race is still our weak area so we’re focusing on old tyres and trying to improve.

“We’ve been quite meticulous. I had one programme yesterday and Pol had the opposite. And then today we crossed over. The guys have a lot of data. We’ll do a similar programme at Jerez. Then during the winter we’ll decide the course for next year.

“I improved my lap time from the weekend. Even just five laps into my first run this morning, I wasn’t really going for a time attack. From that point of view I believe the new parts we had today are a good step forward. Of course we always want to do more, to start pushing the guys in the top ten. That’s what we’re going to work towards.”

On his response being a good deal more restrained than Espragaro’s on Wednesday evening, Smith said, “I don’t show my emotion as much as he does. At the end of the day it’s because you’re able to do a mid-30s and start pushing the guys in front. I don’t see that on our lap times. It’s still a 1m 31s.

“Whether we can do better lap times over a longer period, I’m super happy about that. The second half of our races is where we have to improve the most. I think we’ll continue to work towards. Pol likes one of the products more than I do. But then again because there’s two of them, we never know if they’re completely the same. So that’s something that we need to confirm.

“I see some positives but not as over the moon as what he does. But, [we’re] different riders looking for different things with slightly different set-ups. We’ll continue to analyse everything and see what happens in Jerez, see how the parts work there and then we’ll be able to make a conclusion.”

Smith and KTM will be present at Jerez for a three-day test next week.


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It's going to be interesting to see how next season pans out whether Bradley's meticulous method or Pol's bull at a gate style wins out points wise. 

Aw, jeez, do we have to listen to this utter rubbish. Pol's bull at the gate style, or Bradley's meticulous method???? Seriously dude???? Pol is ALWAYS faster than the posing ginga ninja. Bradley isn't in Pol's class. Come on man, stop living in la la land. Smith is lucky just to be in the team. Personally, i thnk Kallio should have replaced him, but obviously a fairy godfather stumped up some of the green stuff to keep the Englishman his seat. 

Let us start with "jeez", so a Merican sticks his head up with an opinion, Bradley is the reaL thing, said by a Scotsman, so untill you have one of yoUr own to cheer on then Feck off.......(no disrespect to the fantastic, departed Nicky)

Bang on Dickiebird.

Deary me Dick, someone hid you medication ? Is it his Englishness or hair colour you find most offensive ? I reckon though his sixth place in the world's premiere motorcycle championship and proven podium ability got him KTM highly paid works ride. Some of my best friends are ginger.

bradley has to be the most press-covered backmarker in motogp history.  meticulous?!?  ok, i guess this is the off-season and news is slow.


abraham, rabat, baz, rins, redding, miller all finished ahead in points and get next to no coverage by crash.net.  i don't get it.

had his chance at tech3 with the best satellite package on the grid and was cut.  suprised he hasn't been shown the door sooner (especially given kallio's performance) but expect 2018 to be his motogp farewell tour.


don't care where he's from or what color he is...the results simply aren't there.

Tell yer what, tho'...looking at KTM's proven record elsewhere, their success in Moto2 and the rapid progress in MotoGP, I wonder if they already have a bike that is better than all three of it's riders. Don't get me wrong, I've got great respect for all of them, but I can only see their potential stalling at top ten finishers. By 2019 KTM will need a WINNER onboard.

The best bikes will always make their way to the best riders, it does depend on if they can afford an Alien. Who's dream team wouldn't include Marquez ? 

Perhaps a race winner that KTM can afford might not be a bad idea for 2019, names like Miller Crutchlow maybe Folger or Rins could be possibilities, I just wonder if they can afford names like Marquez Zarco or Vinales.....

You realize Redbull pays KTM and Rebull is sponsoring Marquez?