Bradley Smith felt both himself and the Tech 3 team put together their best race weekend of the season so far to finish sixth at Assen. The Briton got stronger and stronger as the race unfolded and came from ninth midway through to sixth, a result he is now confident of achieving on a regular basis.
“That was a fantastic race and I feel really happy with the job all of us at Tech 3 Racing have done because it was easily the best race of the season. It is brilliant to be back in the top six because this is where we should be consistently. We have not stopped working to improve the Mistral 610 machine and to finish so close to the podium is a great confidence boost. I was worried the good result in Silverstone might have been down to a bit of home race factor, but we have been even stronger and more competitive here in Assen. It was a really hard race and I never gave up because I could see Scott in third and just kept trying to put pressure on Alex (De Angelis) and Esteve (Rabat). I was back to being one of the fastest on track today and I was very fast in the second half of the race on worn tyres. That was a key strength of mine last season and I could show it again today. Now we go to the Sachsenring next weekend with a lot of confidence.”
Teammate Xavier Simeon also added to his points tally with thirteenth on the second Mistral 610 although a coming-together with Takaaki Nakagami cost him a place on the final lap. The Belgian was happy overall though with both form and fitness improving with each race.
“I am really happy to have achieved the objective of getting in the points because I was disappointed in qualifying to be so far back on the grid. I knew I had a much better pace than 24th and immediately in the race I had a good feeling with the Mistral 610 machine. Two riders crashed in front of me on the first lap and that helped put me in the points and after that it was a very tough race. I just pushed at 100% on every lap and I am really pleased to equal my best result of the season. It’s a pity that Nakagami pushed me off track in the last lap because I’d have been really happy to be 12th and get my best result of 2012 like Bradley managed. The Tech 3 Racing Team did a fantastic job and I am confident as my fitness gets back to 100% that I will be battling for the top 10 in the next races.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal was proud of both his riders and expects their impressive form to continue in the upcoming back-to-back races.
“We have a lot of smiling faces in the Tech 3 Racing garage this afternoon because it is great to see Bradley and Xavier both in the top 15 with incredibly strong performances. We have not had an easy start to the season but today’s result shows how competitive the Mistral 610 package is and this is a good reward for all the work Bradley, Xavier and the Tech 3 Racing Team has put in to improve. Bradley has been fast all weekend and he got one of his trademark fast and aggressive starts and he was able to stay with the leading group for a long time before he dropped back a little bit. But in the last laps he again showed he is really strong on worn tyres and he gave himself a great chance to be in the top four. But to finish sixth and get his best result of the season gives the Tech 3 Racing Team a lot of confidence for the next races where Bradley is very strong. Xavier also did an amazing job and I am really pleased for him because he has worked very hard to recover from the injuries he got in Le Mans. And had he not had a problem with traffic in qualifying to be so far down the grid I have no doubt he would have finished in the top 10. His lap times were really competitive considering he is still riding in a lot of pain and he can proud of the job he did today.”