Smith satisfied with encouraging start on home soil
Posted on Aug 30, 2013 by George Penny
The biggest race of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Bradley Smith got off to an encouraging start at the historic Silverstone track this afternoon.
Smith’s first experience of the long and technical Silverstone layout on a MotoGP machine saw him focus on the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine to cope with super fast sections and rapid changes of direction that make the British venue one of the toughest but most spectacular challenges on the schedule.
The 22-year-old was ninth fastest this morning and less than 0.3s outside of the top six and like Crutchlow he was able to make big progress in FP2.
He improved from a 2.05.108 to a 2.03.750 and that major improvement promoted him into eighth on combined times and reduced the gap to the best pace to just over one second after he was able to successfully evaluate soft and hard tyre options for both the front and rear today.
In both sessions Smith set his best lap on his last lap, the rookie impressively building up his speed throughout to boost his confidence that he can battle for a top six in Sunday’s 20-lap race.
Bradley Smith 8th 2.03.750 – 34 laps:
“It was great to ride in front of my home crowd today and the amount of people here was amazing. The British fans have always given me great support and today was no exception. It was a positive day because I found a good setting this morning and then it was a case of tweaking it to suit this track. For the first time all season I have tried all the tyre options for the front and rear in one day, so we have evaluated a lot and got a clear way to follow for the rest of the weekend. This track is certainly designed for MotoGP. It is so fast and open that you really get to explore the bike’s full potential. I will enjoy riding the YZR-M1 this weekend and as I get faster I am sure it will be even more fun.”