Bradley Smith excited by home MotoGP debut

Posted on Aug 29, 2013 by George Penny

Bradley Smith admits he is thrilled by the prospect of racing at Silverstone for the first time in MotoGP at this weekend's British Grand Prix.

The 22-year-old has achieved podium finishes at the circuit in past 125cc and Moto2 events, but is relishing his outing in the premier class.

"Silverstone is great. It's so fast and flowing. It's unlike any other track we're used to," Smith told BBC Oxford.

"It creates great racing, close lap times and is so much fun to ride." This weekend's meeting has extra significance for the Oxfordshire rider, who grew up just 30 miles away from the circuit.

"One of the first races I ever went to was to see a friend at Silverstone and I was hooked from then on," he said.

"From all those years ago watching on the sidelines to racing there in a MotoGP weekend it's going to be a special occasion."

Smith crashed out at the Czech MotoGP in his most recent race after an impressive sixth place in qualifying and the frustration of not taking the chequered flag in Brno has provided added motivation for his 12th MotoGP of the season.

"It hurts, but I'm ready and thankful it's Silverstone this weekend. It's probably a blessing in disguise.
"It's brought me back down to earth. It means I don't go into the weekend over confident or with my head in the clouds, I'm ready to work."

Smith has made a smooth transition to the top tier of motorcycle racing, with seven top-10 finishes including two sixth places in his rookie year.

The Tech3 Yamaha rider believes that his results prove he does have the talent to be a consistent performer in elite racing.

"I've worked well in the first half of the season. There's no doubt that I was a bit under-rated going into the season, but I'm glad I have showcased my talent.

"The Tech3 team and Yamaha have given me a great opportunity and a great machine to allow me to show what I can do," 

Teammate Cal Crutchlow and Michael Laverty complete a trio of British riders involved at Silverstone, who are aiming to please the passionate home support.

"I'm probably going into this a little under the radar with Cal obviously the main man, but the attention we get is always nice.

"The fans lift your morale and your game and squeezes that extra 0.2 of a second out of you," added Smith.

"The important thing is not to get carried away. I'm still riding a beast of a machine and it is important to keep doing the same things we've done all season.

"We'll arrive with our feet on the ground, work hard from day one, and if we do that there is no reason why we can't get a good result on Sunday."

By Tom Rostance, BBC Sport 

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