It's good to be home after three weeks away in Japan, Malaysia and Australia. It's been a very interesting time but there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed at home.

You name it and we experienced it during those three weeks from earth tremors in Japan, 38'C temperatures in Malaysia, snow in Australia and a walk across the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge that had my dad's legs shaking.

The results have not been that great but I felt my performance was not at all bad. The third place in Japan, followed by the two fifths in Malaysia and Australia, I feel do not reflect how I've been riding. When it rained and the time sheets reflect on your riding ability rather than just the power of the bike I was fastest which gives me real confidence.

We had a couple of days in Tokyo before travelling to Motegi for the Japanese Grand Prix which I really enjoyed. It's an awesome city and the culture of respect and how people react to each other was so different to anywhere else I've been too. The first night in Motegi apparently there where three earth tremors in the night but typically I slept through the lot and did not see or hear a thing.

It was a more like an earth tremor at the start of the Japanese race and I was so lucky not to get wiped out when Jonas Folger and Efren Vazquez collided and crashed into the barrier. There were legs and arms everywhere as we raced towards the first turn. I got hit but stayed on but after that it was a boring ride into third but the second podium in a row and some important championship points. I was also lucky to finish because it was only when I got back into parc ferme I saw the rear mudguard was flapping after the coming together at the start. The mudguard was more like a carbon knife and could have cut into anything.

Arriving in Malaysia the next day was a timely reminder just how hot it can be there. The build up to the race was good with the annual kart race and a big Tissot event with me and Nicky Hayden in the massive Shopping Mall under the twin towers in Kuala Lumpur. I was pipped for pole in qualifying by Marc Marquez but felt good for the race despite the heat. The special heat training I'd done at Silverstone plus a special frozen vest you wear before the start of the race really helped but things did not turn out as planned. A dodgy tyre gave me a dreadful chattering problems and I was losing half a second a lap to the leaders. Despite all the if, but's or maybee's there is nothing I could do but keep pushing. It's frustrating but there was nothing I could do.

We left the heat behind and flew to Sydney for a couple of days before flying onto Melbourne and driving down to Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix. We started the tour with a climb and walk on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was something my Dad had always wanted to do. They clip you into a harness and it was amazing although Dad was not so happy with some of the sheer drops for the narrow walkway. I also managed some cycling in the Blue Mountains before leaving for Phillip Island.

The drive down from Melbourne was 'interesting' and we are still waiting for the speeding tickets to arrive. Nothing had prepared us for the weather at Phillip Island. They showed snow storms in parts of Victoria on the television and I think it was too cold to snow when we went out in the rain for practice on Friday afternoon. I was quickest in the rain but only qualified fifth in the dry on Saturday. I was fastest in the wet warm-up on Saturday morning and made a great start in the dry race.

I was confident and attacked right from the start and took the lead from Marquez at the hairpin on the first lap but when he and Pol Espargaro passed me I just did not have the pace to stay with them. I thought I might be able to latch onto Nico Terol when he took third place from me but once again the pace was just not there. Instead I was stuck in a great battle for fourth with Efren Vazquez and Tito Rabat. Efren finally took fourth after a photo finish when we could not be separated on time. Another disappointing result but I look certain to finish fourth in the Championship.

Two more races in Estoril and Valencia and that's it for 2010. It's been such a frustrating year and I can't wait for 2011 and the new challenge of Moto2.

Bradley Smith

 

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