Bradley Smith's Valencia MotoGP test ended with a stunning lap that put him second on the timesheets, just 0.3s behind new world champion Marc Marquez.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider, who set a British record for most points as a premier class rookie, was riding the same updated package that Cal Crutchlow rode in the second half of the season.

After finishing testing just after lunchtime on Wednesday, Smith said that the 'new' bike was, "Everything that I've been searching for!"

Smith set his fastest time on low fuel but his pace was impressive and riding the updated bike, with a new fuel tank to improve handing on heavy fuel loads, looks much more comfortable.

Afterwards he spoke about how the changes have improved his confidence and allowed him to adjust his riding style.

"I knew with the new bike that I could carry more corner speed and didn't have to worry as much about picking up the bike and I could use the side grip more," said Smith. "It's about trusting it a little more and carrying more corner speed.

"I didn't expect this lap time but I knew that with new rubber that I could do a 1m 30s lap. I'm happy with how the season ended and I'm happy with the package now. It's everything I was searching for throughout the season and we were able to improve and unlock the keys to the bike.

"It's nice to do this lap time, even though it's a one off, but it gives a platform for 2014."

Smith, who was on track for the final two days of the test, is looking forward to next year where the lessons learned can be further applied.

"Today we spent most of the day trying to figure out more about the bike. Yesterday I was given the new one and I was just trying to learn it, whereas today was more about understanding what changes make a difference," he explained.

"So we tried new things with springs and different combinations to get an idea of whether it's similar to what I used last year. All in all the bike seems similar to last year and it was just a case of learning how to use the extra grip and change my riding and my lines to maximise the bike's performance."

Smith's new team-mate and reigning Moto2 champion Pol Espargaro was sixth quickest at the test.

"Pol is looking very strong and it is impressive to see him so fast so soon. It looks like we will be pushing each other a lot next season and that's positive for Yamaha and Tech 3," commented Smith.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...