Bradley Smith believes it will be “critical” to stay ahead of the Ducatis in tomorrow’s British Grand Prix and was delighted to qualify so far ahead of them. The home favourite lines up sixth, a row ahead of Andrea Iannone on the first GP15, and with the Italian machines posing such a threat down the straights, Smith fears his race could be ruined if he falls behind them early in proceedings.
“It certainly helps with Iannone in ninth and Dovizioso in twelve. Obviously they can still interfere with my race but potentially a lot less from where they are. If I can make a good start and move forward, that will be critical. I followed a Ducati in free practice and there’s no way to pass them. Even if they are 10 km/h slower in some corners, you can’t physically pass them and if you do, they just come back past you on the straight so I think a lot of riders are happy with where they are today.”
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider shone on Friday, finishing third fastest, and although he couldn’t hit the same heights this afternoon, Smith still feels he is in good shape for the race.
“It was a tough day, especially in qualifying. In FP4, we concentrated on trying to find a better race pace but in qualifying, when you improve one and a half seconds, you’re going to find a limit somewhere with the bike. I’m quite happy with my feeling over full race distance and I’ve been doing good lap times on old tyres. I’m a little disappointed I missed that quarter of a second in qualifying but I have to be happy nevertheless. The actual lap time and performance tomorrow will come in the last fourteen laps, not the first six so I’m trying to think big picture.”