Smith Produces Sparkling Display in Jerez Qualifying


Bradley Smith was ecstatic after producing another stunning qualifying performance for the Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix at Jerez.

The Brit followed up his 7th place grid slot in Qatar with a top ten finish in the race, but the early signs are that he could better that this weekend. He produced a blistering lap of 1:43.500 to take fifth place and a second row grid slot for tomorrow's race and after his lightning getaway two weeks ago, Smith could be a threat at the start.

The Tech 3 team arrived at Jerez with a heavily revised Mistral 610 machine, including a new rear linkage, offering improved grip.

With the Moto2 field so competitive this year, (1.5 seconds covered the top 18 riders) Smith was delighted with his day's work.

This was a good day to finish fifth on the grid because Moto2 is very close and today was no exception. The front guys got into the 42s and there is a big group who ran in the 43s, so obviously I am very happy to be on the second row and right in contention. Moto2 is unbelievably competitive, so to be as high as I am so early in my first season is a big bonus.

Smith, a former Jerez winner in the 125cc class, still feels there is room for improvement in the warm-up before tomorrow's race.

“I think we have a good chance of improving the bike a little bit more tomorrow morning because we have a few ideas to help improve my pace. We have quite a good base and I don’t think we have to make any drastic changes for tomorrow, but we need to improve, particularly in the fourth section where I am losing most of my time compared to Stefan Bradl. The last sector is critical for the lap time”.

Teammate Mike di Meglio had a much tougher day. After a crash in the morning's practice session, the Frenchman couldn't find the sweet spot in the afternoon, qualifying 29th.

“It was a very difficult day for me because of the crash this morning”, he explained. “My mechanics had to change the whole bike and they did a fantastic job to have it ready again for this afternoon. We made some changes for the qualifying and I did feel better, but we have to continue in this direction for the race.”

Tomorrow's warm-up will be very important session for both Tech 3 riders as they search for last minute improvements ahead of the race, which gets underway at 11:15 BST.