Bradley Smith is confident of challenging for a fourth consecutive podium in Moto2 despite only qualifying ninth at the Sachsenring. The Briton looked set to challenge for a place on the second row but speared off the track at turn eight in the dying moments, bringing his session to an early end.
There was no lasting damage to the Mistral 610 or the rider but Smith was unable to put in a lap when the track was at his quickest, with Mattia Pasini hindering him before his fall. With the Sachsenring famous for its' tight twisty layout, Smith admits a fast start is crucial tomorrow.
“The third row is not a bad place to start, but ideally I would have liked to be on the second row at least just because of the nature of this track. It is very tight and twisty and overtaking is very difficult, so getting a good start will be crucial. But I am quite happy still with the performance. We were struggling in a few places, especially on the final run and I was riding too hard rather than trying to ride as smooth as possible.”
The 20 year old has explored the gravel traps on a number of occasions this weekend as he tries to find the limit of the racetrack, and admitted that he exceeded the limit at the end of qualifying.
“The lap time dropped by over half-a-second compared to this morning, so I tried to push a little bit more. Obviously I am disappointed to bring the bike back on a trailer, but there won’t be too much damage because the bike just fell against the air fence. The weather looks like it is going to be hotter again tomorrow, so we’ve got a good set up for the second half of the race when the tyres are worn. We still need to improve in some areas, but generally I am quite happy with everything. I’m just excited now to try some more changes in the Warm-up and try to get the bike more ready for the race.”
Despite qualifying just 0.883s off pole position, Tech 3 teammate Mike Di Meglio will start from the eighth row in 22nd place, and the Frenchman complained of a lack of rear grip on Saturday afternoon.
“We changed a lot on the bike for the qualifying session and I immediately felt better, but still I think we need to improve more. We understand that we have to keep this direction for the race tomorrow because I still don’t have enough rear grip and I can’t accelerate out of the corner like I want. I felt better this afternoon and was also faster than this morning, but it still does not feel like it is enough. We need to improve much more for tomorrow’s race, but the times are very close and I don’t think we are too far away. I’m sure I can get in the points and even fight for the top ten.”