Bradley Smith surprised even himself with his performance in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix after claiming sixth place on the grid. The British youngster was on the fringes of the top ten throughout the session but produced his quickest lap of the weekend on his last attempt to qualify on the second row.
Smith admits that he isn't totally satisfied with the set-up of the Mistral 610 but hopes to challenge for the podium if he can make steps forward in the warm-up tomorrow morning.
“I am in sixth position and that is a very positive result for the Tech 3 Racing Team. We have worked really hard all weekend and always been around the top 10, so to qualify on the second row is an incredible result for me. The track is very narrow here, so it is important to get a good start and get a couple of good first laps to put myself in contention for the podium right from the beginning. For sure it will be a hard and hot race tomorrow and it will be very important to keep the concentration all of the time. But conditions were very hot in Indianapolis and I finished just off the podium, so I’ve no worries. We need to find some small improvements in the warm-up but I am confident I can deliver another good result in the race.”
Tech 3 teammate Mike Di Meglio looked set to join Smith in the top ten after going seventh early on. The Frenchman dropped back to 18th but was still happy with the progress he had made following a tough start on Friday.
“I am very happy because we improved a lot from practice this afternoon and the bike was working well today. We changed the settings for qualifying and I also tried to change my riding style a little bit. Immediately I had a much better feeling and I was able to lap 0.7s faster. I am confident for the race tomorrow and it would be great to finish in the points after a difficult start to the weekend.”