Hi guys,

Just returned from an amazing three-and-a-half weeks' training in California to find there will be eight Brits in MotoGP this season! That's brilliant news, and we will have to organise a few more chairs round the table at the pre-British Grand Prix press conference this year.

Cal Crutchlow was with me in California, and we had a great time training together before he makes his MotoGP debut in Qatar next month. He did everything with me apart from some motocross training. I'm sure he'll do really well, and it's great having him and Colin Edwards as Tech 3 team-mates this year.

It gave me a big buzz looking at the Moto2 entry list and seeing my name there - but what an entry! I knew it was going to be tough, but the quality of the riders in the class made me realise even more just how much I've got to notch it up to another level to be anything like competitive.

I reckon Scott Redding should have a good year after those two podiums late last year, and I'm really pleased to see Kev Coglan get his chance in the world championship after a couple of good 'wild card' appearances. It will be a bit strange being the 'rookie' in the class, but at least I should start the season well-prepared both with fitness and actual testing of the bike.

I did over 700 miles on the push bike and a fair bit of running in California. The weather was warm and the company good fun but pretty competitive. As well as Cal we had Josh Hayes, the AMA Superbike Champion, and we also went mountain-biking for a day with Scott Holland who is the Californian Champion. He was mighty quick, and my speed certainly picked up a lot throughout the day.

When Cal had flown home, I also went motocrossing for a day. I'll be honest and tell you I was a bit nervous, because I'd not been on a motocross bike in 2010. Also, I was riding with a couple of my old mates, Adam Chatfield and Tommy Searle, who was runner-up in the MX2 World Championship - so no pressure then! I started on the Intermediate track, but I was back in the groove by the afternoon and had a couple of great sessions on the Pro track. It felt good being back on a motocross bike, but now is the time to concentrate on testing the Tech 3 Moto2 bike.

We start in Valencia on 10 February, when I will be testing the 2011 bike. I'm pleased it's Valencia, because I did 95 laps on the 2010 bike there at the end of last season, so already I will have some data and some lap times to compare. Then it's plenty of testing in Europe with the team before the start in Qatar on 20 March, which will come around so quickly. Looks like an interesting time schedule for that first race, with practice for three nights under the floodlights.

Being back home is also a bit strange, although it's great to be with family and friends. I have a bit of time to kill because although I will be training every day, it will get a little less as the first test approaches.

Going back to the American trip, I enjoyed it so much not just because of the training but also because we went and did so many interesting things. I went to two Supercross Championship events at Anaheim and at the Dodgers Stadium in LA. All the top riders were there, and the atmosphere was just something else. You can be over-exuberant watching sport in the States and nobody is fussed because they are all the same - they just keep shouting and cheering. If you did that anywhere else in the world, they would think you were on drugs! I had a pretty cool time in the Monster Hospitality unit meeting all the riders and celebrities.

I also went to watch the Lakers play basketball. The stadium was jam-packed even on a Tuesday night, and there were some really tall guys playing who could just reach up to put the ball in the basket. Once again the atmosphere was brilliant, and the entertainment even when the game was not being played was non-stop.

Let's hope us eight British riders create that type of atmosphere and sheer excitement in the world championships and at Silverstone in particular this year. I promise it will not be through a lack of trying, right from that first test next week.

In the meantime, I'm just looking forward to Friday evening, when I will be at a Biking Legends night at the Trojan Rooms in Whitley Bay with Niall and Taylor Mackenzie. It's all in aid of the 'Fish For Life' charity. If you're in the area, come along - there should be some great banter!

Bradley

For Bradley's latest Moto2 pictures, scroll down the page to the picture gallery below.

For further insights into the world of Bradley Smith, please visit:

www.bradleysmith38.com

 

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