Bradley Smith apologised to his Tech 3 team after a mistake at the start of the German Grand Prix cost him any chance of extending his record of podium finishes.
The Briton got a typically fast start from the third row and was challenging for third at turn one but outbraked himself and dropped to 33rd as he recovered from the gravel trap. Smith was scything his way back through the field, matching the pace of the leaders, and was closing in on the points positions before a second accident ended his race for good.
Smith subsequently dropped to fifth in the Championship but commented that today's disappointment will motivate him when the Moto2 class reconvenes at Brno in four weeks time.
“First of all I have to say sorry to the Tech 3 Racing Team. They worked very hard this weekend and they gave me a great machine to do the business on. But I made a slight mistake going into the first corner. I downshifted too many gears and I couldn’t get the bike stopped and that was a big mistake on my part. I had a really good pace and felt really confident coming back through the field. My times were in the 1.25s and that was faster than Marquez and Bradl but then I made another silly mistake at Turn 3 and could not get the bike going again.”
“It is a frustrating to go like this into the summer break, but it means that in four weeks I will be highly motivated to return stronger in Brno. I know what we can achieve and what we are capable of and I’ve no doubt that we can have a great second half of the season.”
Tech 3 team manager Herve Poncharal was philosophical about the start line incident and added that Smith's pace as he charged through the field gives the team great encouragement for the second half of the season.
“We can’t hide from the fact that today we are disappointed, but we have to accept that is racing. You can’t win a race in the first corner, but you can lose a race in the first corner and unfortunately that’s what happened to Bradley. He was really confident that he could pick up some places at the first corner but this time it didn’t go to plan. The race was not over, but damaged because of that first small mistake. He was the quickest guy on the track for many laps after that. And when you see that the tenth position finished ten seconds behind, we know he would have easily been in the top ten. But then he had the crash and that was a pity because his recovery was a good show for the fans.”
“We would have liked to go into the summer break with a sweeter taste in the mouth. Bradley learned another lesson today but he shouldn’t be too down because the last few races he has been phenomenal and today he could have fought at the front again, so we know he has the speed to compete with the best.”