Smith Confident for COTA after Strong Start


Bradley Smith is confident of going one better than the opening round in Qatar as he chases top satellite honours in Texas. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider recovered from a difficult Friday to finish eighth at Losail, half a second behind compatriot Cal Crutchlow, and Smith expects to be involved in a similar fight on Sunday.

“‘Now it’s time to head across the Atlantic to Texas which is a special race and certainly an event that everyone looks forward to, so I can’t wait to jump on the Yamaha and get going. I like the track with its good mixture of tight and meandering corners plus the big climb on the pit straight is awesome to experience!”

“I scored a good result here last year in which I finished in 5th as well as being the leading Yamaha, plus after the good start to the season which we had in Qatar, I’m feeling confident. To complete the Qatar race only half a second back from Cal was encouraging, albeit a little annoying as I was so close to being the fastest satellite MotoGP rider. Nevertheless, I’m optimistic that we will be fighting in that position again on Sunday and I am ready to hit Texas at full speed.”

After being narrowly beaten by his teammate in Qatar, Pol Espargaro is looking to regain the ascendancy at Tech 3 and knows he must start the weekend strongly in order to achieve his goal.

“I am very excited to be heading back to America to race at the Circuit of the America’s which is an incredible track and really good fun to ride. Last year I had quite a good run in the race where I finished in 6th position. However, it’s plain to see how much more competitive the MotoGP field is this year and the last race in Qatar where everything was so close was the first example of this. We had a few issues there, but we did our best to recover and ended up in 9th. However, this time we’ve got to hit the ground running so that we can make the most of the available practice time to get a strong setup for the race on Sunday. I am positive and remain convinced that we can have a better weekend this time and challenge to be the leading satellite bike, but it will be no easy task. Still, the crowd is always brilliant in Texas and their support will spur me on.”