Bradley Smith is feeling optimistic ahead of the upcoming races after finishing a season's best seventh at Silverstone. The Briton led at the end of the opening lap before fading as the race unfolded but today was still the most competitive showing yet for this year's Mistral 610. Smith is confident now that the Tech 3 team are progressing and hopes to back at the front before too long.
“I expected to battle for sixth place and that’s exactly how it turned out. I’m just happy that I got to lead the British Grand Prix, even if it was only a brief experience. It was a shame that Corti passed me on the last lap because it would have been nice to finish off a positive weekend in the top six. But to qualify fourth, lead the race and then be inside the top six for the most of the race shows we have made a big step with the Mistral 610 machine this weekend. We can make it better but this result gives us some confidence for the future and credit to the Tech 3 Racing Team because they are working non-stop to improve the bike and help us get closer to the podium battle. The support of the British fans was incredible again and I hope they enjoyed the early battle with Scott. We now need to make sure I am up there competing for the lead in a few more races.”
Teammate Xavier Simeon made his return from injury but admitted the uncertainty over his fitness affected him during the race, explaining his finishing position of 21st.
“The beginning of the race was difficult because I was a little bit nervous about my hand. I couldn’t brake as I wanted but I saw my lap times were not so bad and I thought I could recover some places. But by the time I managed to get my confidence up and establish a good pace it was too late to get myself in the battle for the points. If I had pushed more in the first seven or eight laps then I am sure the result could have been much better. This weekend has been tough from a physical point of view but I will be much stronger in Assen and looking to get back into the points.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal was pleased with the performance of both his riders and feels they are starting to extract the potential from the Mistral 610.
“I am very happy with the performance of the Tech 3 Racing Team today. Bradley showed incredible determination all through the weekend and he got a good qualifying result that helped him challenge at the front where he belongs in the race. We know he can be very aggressive at the start and he certainly didn’t let us down today. It was a great moment for him to be leading his home race and he fought very hard for the whole race. He was pushing right until the end and it was a pity that he couldn’t quite hold on for his first top six of the season because he definitely deserved it. Seventh is still by far his best result of the season and shows the potential of the Mistral 610 we always knew was there. We just need to make sure we are competitive on every track now in the future. Xavier did his best in difficult circumstances because he has been riding in a lot of pain with the injuries from Le Mans. He never complained and always gave 100% effort, so I am sure he will be closer to full strength in Assen and we can see him battling for the points again.”