Bradley Smith is confident of ending the Moto2 season on a high after an excellent ride to eighth at Brno on Sunday. The Briton failed to score for the first time all year at Indianapolis and the omens weren’t good when he qualified fifteenth in the Czech Republic.
But Smith, who was confirmed as a Tech 3 MotoGP rider for 2013 on Saturday, put in a feisty performance to make the top ten and feels he has something to build on for the remainder of his final Moto2 campaign.
“Sitting on the start line today I was a little bit worried to be honest. I was 15th on the grid and not 100% sure the direction we had taken with the set-up was the right way. It wasn’t too bad and throughout the whole race I was involved in a really exciting battle. There was lots of overtaking but I lost a bit of time when I tried to pass Zarco and on the next lap I had a problem with the clutch and that cost me some more tenths. I think if I could have got to the group battling for fifth a little bit earlier I might have had a chance to gain some more places. But I’m still pretty satisfied with the outcome of the race and it was important to bounce back quickly from the bad weekend we had in Indianapolis. Being back in the top eight is a strong result and now we can look forward to Misano to try and build up some momentum for the final part of the Championship.”
Teammate Xavier Simeon couldn’t join Smith in the points after crashing on lap twelve while trying to overtake Dominique Aegerter. The Belgian accepted the blame for his accident and is desperate to start collecting points to match his potential.
“It’s a big pity because I made a really good first lap and I was battling for some points when I crashed out at the middle of the race. At that point I was gaining some places and feeling really confident with the Mistral 610 machine. I had a good rhythm but while passing Aegerter I had lot of chattering and unfortunately lost the front. I’m very sorry for the Tech 3 Racing Team because this weekend they did a really good job to prepare the bike and we could have fought for the top 10. That’s two races in a row now without points and that doesn’t reflect our true potential in both.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal refused to criticise Simeon too much, admitting such incidents come with the territory in Moto2, and was encouraged by Smith’s race pace which he feels was on a par with the four runaway leaders.
“After the disappointment of Indianapolis I am pleased to see the whole Tech 3 Racing Team has bounced back strongly with a good race today. Both Bradley and Xavier showed a lot of determination and it was great to see Bradley involved in such an exciting battle. I think if he had been a bit higher up the grid he might have been able to battle with the leading four because his lap times were as fast and consistent as those at the front. Eighth position is still a positive result and he was very close to the top five, so it seems we have quickly got our season back on track. Bradley again showed the high potential of the Mistral 610 machine and I think it is realistic to think he can be on the podium before the end of the season. Xavier was doing a fantastic job and it was unfortunate he crashed because he showed he has the potential to be a regular inside the top 15. He made a small mistake passing Aegerter but that can happen when you are pushing and fighting hard for the top 10. It’s a pity because he could have scored some important points and that would have been good for his confidence going into the last six races.”