In his latest column for Crash.net, Bradley Smith looks back on Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix, which saw the young Englishman take another podium - thanks to a last-turn collision between the two race leaders...

The race in Misano certainly was another learning experience for us all but coming away with 16 points is a good way to learn. There is no getting away from it I was lucky to finish third and I'm really grateful for that but I'm still kicking myself for getting carried away after practice and qualifying.

I led both practice sessions on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and then took my third pole position of the season in qualifying. We got carried away and perhaps did not look at the race seriously enough, especially when the bike was running in the early stages with a full tank of fuel. It has taught us not to take anything for granted and it will not happen again.

It was windy at the start of the race and with that full tank of fuel the bike was hard to ride and I dropped from pole to ninth place and made a couple of mistakes. Once the fuel load lightened I was able to start matching the times of the leaders but it too late and it looked like a fifth place until that last bend.

There was always a chance something was going to happen, unfortunately especially when Andrea Iannone is involved, but when I saw both him and Pol Espargaro in the gravel coming into the start and finish straight I could not believe it. I was still in shock when I stood on the podium. I could not get my head round it, as anybody who witnessed my television interview straight afterwards will tell you.

I was happy and sad all in one go. Sad not to have won after leading the way on Friday and Saturday but really happy to be on the podium. On reflection, it was my lucky day and those extra points are a big boost.

There is still a quarter of the season to go with four races remaining. My aim is to delay Julian Simon as long as possible winning the World title and to win the battle with Nico Terol for second place. It looks like a straight battle between us with Sergio Gadea and Iannone crashing out on the very first and last bends of the race respectively.

Nico has a five point advantage over me but there are 100 points up for grabs. After the crashes at the Sachsenring and Donington the last three races have been really encouraging. The only thing missing has been a win and we will be flat out for that in Portugal, Australia, Malaysia and the final grand prix of the season in Valencia, which is the home of my team.

It's a strange time of the season. With the cancellation of the Hungarian Grand Prix we have three weeks of nothing until the race at Estoril in Portugal at the beginning of October. Also, like everybody else in a grand prix paddock, we are talking about our plans for 2010. It's really scary that 2010 will be my fifth season of world championship racing - where has all the time gone.

I'm staying in Italy until Thursday, re-charging the batteries and keeping the fitness levels high ready for the final quarter. On Sunday I'm taking part in the London Duathlon in Richmond Park. No swimming this time just a nine kilometre run, 20 kilometre cycle ride ending with a five kilometre run.

Both my Mum and my cousin Dan are also competing over the slightly shorter distances of a five kilometre run, ten kilometre cycle ride finishing with a five kilometre run.

Hopefully there will be no last bend crashes this weekend and we have the same luck as Misano. If so we could be in for a good result but perhaps not the podium

Bradley

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