Bradley Smith had the great British weather to thank after storming from 28th on the grid to take a surprising, but thoroughly deserved, podium finish at Silverstone.
The Oxford youngster admitted he couldn't have dreamed of second place after an electrical problem in qualifying restricted him to two flying laps, but torrential rain allowed him to move forward in the early stages and was up to 13th by the end of the first lap.
Smith then battled his way into contention for a podium, including an exciting duel with Scott Redding along the way, and inherited second when Kenan Sofuoglu ran off the track.
Speaking after the race, Smith was still coming to terms with the dream result, made even more impressive by the horrendous conditions that faced the riders.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet to be honest. The rain definitely helped me out today and I doubt I’d have finished second if it was a dry race, so for once I’m not going to complain about the British weather. Starting from 28th I knew I had to make a good start and Rabat went in really hot into the first corner and sat a lot of people up and I was nearly off the track. But going into Turn 3, I went right around the outside of about five people and just kept making moves. In the pack the spray was really bad and I couldn’t see anything, so I just got my head down and went for it. I had a really good pace but I had nothing for Stefan. I tried to keep a fast pace and put some pressure on him but he was cool and never really made a mistake that gave me a chance.”
“But to finish second after all the chaos and drama of yesterday, it is something that I never expected when I woke up this morning. To finish on the podium in my home race two years in a row is an amazing feeling. I love Silverstone, so I can’t wait to come back here next year already. Looking at the Championship I’m only 18-points behind second position, which is unbelievable considering we’ve had some bad luck at the start of the year. I want to say thanks to my Tech 3 Racing Team because they have done an awesome job and this gives us a lot of confidence for the next few races.”
Team manager Herve Poncharal was delighted to see Smith's run of bad luck come to an end and is sure that his podium finish will be the first of many.
“This was an absolutely fantastic day for the Tech3 Racing Team and big congratulations to Bradley for an unbelievable performance. We had a disaster yesterday with the technical problem that did not help Bradley do more than two laps at the end in qualifying, which meant he had to start from 28th on the grid. Nevertheless he was very confident when I spoke to him, especially in the wet. But it is so difficult to see anything from the back of the field and I don’t know how he did it. For me he produced the performance of the weekend and he’s just shown what an incredible talent he is. We know we have been fast all season but we a lot of bad luck that meant we never got the results we deserved. This will give Bradley so much more confidence and I’m sure this won’t be the last time we see him on the podium in 2011.”