Bradley Smith was happy with sixth place in qualifying for the Catalunya Grand Prix despite a crash which cost him a shot at pole position.
The Tech 3 rider was flying on Saturday morning and was second quickest in the final practice session. Smith was in an identical position halfway through qualifying before crashing at the high speed turn 13.
Despite missing the final 20 minutes of the session, the Oxford youngster remained in the top six and felt he could have even made it onto the front row had he completed the session.
“The second row is a good result for tomorrow, particularly when you consider I didn’t even ride at the end of the session when I know I could have gone faster. Unfortunately we had a crash in the last corner and it is a bit of mystery what caused it. I don’t personally think it was my own fault but we need to check everything on the bike as it was a big crash and the mechanics will have a lot of work to do. Now we have to check the data to find the reason of the crash and understand in which direction we want to go to for tomorrow.”
“We need to improve a little bit in some small areas for the race tomorrow. I need to be faster in the first few laps but we have a really good pace for the middle to the end of the race on worn tyres. I’m still confident of another good result tomorrow and hopefully that will give me a big confidence boost heading to the British Grand Prix next weekend, which is a massive race for me.”
Tech 3 teammate Mike Di Meglio had no answer to the pace of his teammate and could only manage 30th place in qualifying. The Frenchman was only 1.529s off pole position but with the amazing level of competition in the intermediate class, he will start tomorrow's race on the tenth row.
Di Meglio explained that he had struggled to find a comfortable setting with the rear suspension of the Mistral 610 but is still hopeful of scoring points in the race.
“It has been a very difficult day and once again I am starting a long way down the grid and the race is going to a tough one. This morning was so much better and I had a good feeling with the bike. But we are still looking for some rear grip and I don’t feel comfortable with the bike under acceleration. We are all so close to each other on lap times that you have to improve a lot to be in front. I will have to do a strong start again to get some points tomorrow but I won’t give up and I hope I will be able to give my team a good result.”