Smith makes big progress in Sepang
Posted on Feb 06, 2013 by Monster Yamaha Tech 3
The second day of the 2013 MotoGP winter testing campaign saw the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team make impressive progress in hot and humid conditions at the Sepang International Circuit today.
Bradley Smith's growing confidence was evident from the early stages of today's session and the 22-year-old demonstrated speed and consistency that bodes well for his rookie season in the MotoGP World Championship.
Ideal conditions for most of the day gave Smith vital time on track to build up his experience of Yamaha's YZR-M1 machine after a two-year spell in the ultra-competitive Moto2 category. And he demonstrated how quickly he has adapted to the heavier and more powerful MotoGP machine with one of the most eye-catching performances of the second day.
Smith has been working closely with his experienced crew, led by chief engineer Guy Coulo n, to understand how to change his riding style and he improved by 1.5s to jump into eighth position.
He set a best time of 2.01.931 to finish just over 1.3s behind 2013 World Championship contender Dani Pedrosa before today's session was ended prematurely when heavy rain started to fall on the Sepang International Circuit with 90 minutes remaining on the clock.
Bradley Smith 8th 2.01.931 – 40 laps:
“Today's performance and the final lap times makes me feel really happy but I am not going to get carried away. I am happy with the job I have done and to be so fast on such a long and technical track is great for my confidence. But I know reducing the gap to the leading group will be very difficult. There's still a long way to go but it is nice to be so m uch faster than yesterday and to see some real progress. A lot of it is down to trusting the bike and having the confidence to ride it to the absolute limit to get the best out of it. I'm not at that point yet but each time I go out I get a better feeling. The great thing with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is they make me feel calm and concentrated and they give me a focus to work on my technique out on track. The lap times are coming from the work we are trying to improve in key areas. It never feels easy on these bikes and you don't get time to rest, but when it becomes more like your friend then you start making steps forward. The team gives me a plan and an area to work on and I try to implement it on track.”