Bradley Smith doesn't believe he has the pace to challenge for a podium finish in tomorrow's Czech Republic Grand Prix after qualifying 16th. The Briton saw a three-race podium streak broken in Germany and was hoping to return to front running form at Brno but will have his work cut out from the sixth row.
The Tech 3 rider was happy with his own performance and admits he needs a “miracle” to challenge the top three tomorrow.
“Obviously today was a little bit of a struggle. I am really happy with my performance and I don’t believe I could have done a better lap time, but we need to find something for tomorrow. It looks like in the group that we want to fight with we need to find 0.4s a lap. I don’t think we have the pace to fight for the podium tomorrow, so we have to be realistic and do damage limitation for the World Championship. We need to try and find the time from somewhere, but unless there is a miracle I don’t think that is going to happen. We found 0.7s from yesterday so we can find big chunks of time and we will continue to push hard and work on the rear grip for tomorrow. We need to find a little bit better balance so we can be faster in the corners.”
Any hopes teammate Mike Di Meglio had of a strong grid position fell away with a technical problem which kept him the pits at the end of the session. The Frenchman felt a place in the top ten was possible but is still looking forward to fighting his way through the pack tomorrow.
“It is very difficult to finish the qualifying in the pits without having the chance to fight for a good grid position. For the qualifying we used a new tyre and when I came back in the box the team told me that there was something broken on the engine. I don’t know what and how, but I could not start again. I think we could have been in the top 10 today, so I am frustrated. I need a good start tomorrow to see what I can do in the race but I will be looking to fight my way through.”