Bradley Smith is still hopeful he can finish in the top six in tomorrow's Catalunya Grand Prix despite qualifying down in thirteenth. The Briton admitted he was hoping for better after making progress during testing last week but remains optimistic that he can run with the faster bikes if he makes a good start.
“I suppose I have to be happy because I am much higher up the grid than I was in Le Mans. But I thought doing a lot of laps at the test in Ales would put us in a better position and unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. We will check the setting we have used at other tracks and maybe use that for the race, but I still expect to be battling in the second group. That would be for the top six, so I need to make a good start and be very aggressive in the early part of the race. Tyre management is going to vital if the conditions are really hot again, so it will be a case of being aggressive without wearing the tyres too quickly.”
Smith was rather outshone by Tech 3 teammate Jordi Torres who qualified eleventh on the other Mistral 610. The Spaniard, riding in place of the injured Xavier Simeon, felt happy with the bike throughout the weekend and is dreaming of a points finish on Sunday.
“I am really happy to be so high up the grid and want to thank the Tech 3 Racing Team for doing an amazing job. They have really helped me adapt to the Mistral 610 quickly and be very close to the top five in my first weekend on the bike. It has not been an easy task because I am a bit heavier than Bradley and Xavier, so we had no reference to use from their data. But the bike has been working well and I could push with a lot of confidence. I have gone faster in every session and hope to do the same tomorrow in the race. I will be doing the best job I possibly can for Tech 3 Racing and it would be fantastic to finish in the points.”