Bradley Smith's 100th Grand Prix start didn't go to plan for the Tech 3 rider despite a top ten finish at Le Mans. The Briton started down in 19th place but made a sensational start and ran as high as third but two off track excursions cost him vital places, leaving him a disappointed tenth.
Smith admitted the result could've been worse though and couldn't have wished for a more exciting race to mark a century in Grand Prix racing.
“It was an eventful way to mark my 100th race and I suppose it could have been better and it could have been worse. I had a brilliant first couple of laps and was quickly battling for the podium. It was difficult because I wanted to be aggressive and push but I had to be careful not to take too many risks with the conditions so tricky. The bike was sliding around a lot, particularly on corner entry, and that’s why I ran off. I recovered my confidence and pace really quickly and it was great to battle my way back inside the top six. But I made a small mistake at the final corner and crashed. I’m happy because I could pick the bike up and still finish 10th and I was also very fast in the wet conditions. But I’m a little bit disappointed too because it was possible to fight for the podium, and that would have been an amazing way to celebrate my 100th race.”
Teammate Xavier Simeon missed the race after breaking bones in his hand following a qualifying crash. Team Manager Herve Poncharal wished the Belgian well and also hopes to see Smith build on today's performance.
“Firstly I want to wish Xavier a speedy recovery. He had a big crash but fortunately after extensive checks in hospital, he has no serious injuries and he will be back in Belgium tomorrow where he is likely to have an operation on the broken hand. It was nice to see him in the garage today and everybody at Tech 3 Racing wishes him well and we hope to see him back on the Mistral 610 machine soon. The race was eventful to say the least. Bradley made an astonishing start and gained a lot of places and we were starting to dream of a podium, which didn’t seem likely from the seventh row. In those difficult conditions it is difficult to be so precise on every lap and he made a slight mistake that dropped him out of the top 10. He rode brilliantly to get back into sixth and then crashed at the last corner, which is a big pity. He still got 10th but it should have been a better result and could have triggered a run of form like from Silverstone last year where he was incredibly strong and always at the front.”