Hi everyone,

I ticked another box when I led a Moto2 race for the first time in Jerez. It's certainly not in the Moto2 rulebook that a rookie should lead in just his second grand prix and that the same rookie is sixth in the world championship standings after two rounds, but that's how it has worked out!

We were so chuffed when I crossed the line in fourth, and there is so much more to come both from me and the bike competing with world-class riders the whole time.

I promise you, on Friday night after the first two practice sessions the mood was not the same. We were off the pace and down the timesheets and I was a little bit worried. We tried some new ideas, but really did not have the time to explore them properly and so by Saturday morning it was back to the original settings and it worked.

I knew after just three laps we were back on course. I built up the times through qualifying and then squeezed in a quick lap on new tyres to finish on the second row of the grid. I managed to pop in a lap that probably a bit above my status but that grid position is so crucial if you are going to have a good race.

It had been dry on Friday and Saturday and driving in on Sunday morning with Randy Mamola it was dry all the way on the motorway, but as we turned into the circuit the spots of rain began to fall on the windscreen of the car.

The warm-up session on the damp track was nerve-wracking because I'd only ridden five laps in the rain during testing on this bike. It was a vital 20 minutes because I realised what direction we had to go in for a wet race. I sat down with crew chief Tom and made some big changes. I knew immediately when I went out on the warm up lap that they had worked.

By the time I sat on the grid I was well excited because I knew I was ready to race. I had plenty of grip even on the new tyres and now it was going to be up to me. It was a lot wetter than in the warm-up and you have to soften everything off on the bike to find the grip. In the wet you have to force the grip onto the tyre and the team had done a great job doing just that.

I was very confident and made a great start riding round the outside of Tom Luthi and squared it up for turn three where Yuki Takahashi made a mistake and I was leading a Moto2 grand prix for the first time!

I tried not to look back and it felt like a 125cc race again but with no disrespect this was against world class riders. You really need mirrors on a bike when you lead because you can only see what is happening in front of you.

Luthi and the eventual winner Iannone were in a class of their own and overtook me and disappeared at the front. I tried to hang onto Simone Corsi in third place but eventually dropped back to fourth. I found a 'second wind' when the Qatar winner Stefan Bradl passed me and when he had a big moment with one and a half laps to go coming into the back straight I knew it was time to get the hammer down. Stefan had won in Qatar and I thought he would not take too many risks because points were crucial to him. With half a lap to go I'd broken him and just concentrated on no mistakes to the chequered flag.

I suppose we know all about the rain but it was great day for British racing with Danny Kent and Taylor Mackenzie fourth and fifth in the 125 cc race. While I was warming up for my race, my dad kept running in the garage to tell me how Taylor was getting on. He was waiting in the garage when I returned from my race and I told him I had to finish fourth to beat his fifth!

Cal Crutchlow also had a great MotoGP ride and what a day it could have been for my Tech 3 team until Colin Edwards stopped with a problem in the MotoGP race with just 12 bends remaining while he was third.

We have to wait four weeks for the next grand prix in Portugal following the postponement of the race in Japan. We wish all our many friends in Japan our sincere condolences on the events in their country and hopefully we will make the trip there in October to see many of them.

The break will give us the opportunity to work more on the bike and we are lucky that we have already tested in Estoril which means we already have gearbox settings and braking points sorted, unless it rains again.

By the time you are reading this I will be in Italy cycle training for eight days with Jamie Burrow who is a friend of Nicky Hayden. He's based in Riccione and I aim to return even fitter to face those rivals once again in Estoril.

Don't worry while I'm pounding up and down those hills the team I have around me will be flat out getting ready for Portugal. All I have to do is get fit and ride the bike and it's something that everybody around me makes so easy with so much hard work and encouragement. It's certainly paying off at the moment... but there are still 15 races to go!

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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