Bradley Smith will head into the summer break in positive mood after finishing a season-high of fourth at Mugello on Sunday. The Briton was just a second away from winning the Grand Prix as the Tech 3 Mistral 610 showed its best form of the year and Smith is confident podiums will come in the second half of the season.
“That was an awesome race and it feels great to be fighting for the podium again. I struggled a bit at the beginning of the race when the other guys had new tyres because we focus on making the Mistral 610 fast on worn tyres. And that really paid off because in the second half of the race today I felt really strong and fast. I made a couple of aggressive moves and I was lucky a few times when some other riders went wide and I could get through. But I gave absolutely everything I had today and the bike was amazing, especially in the corners. The Tech 3 Racing Team did an amazing job and I really wanted a podium for them. I was probably only going to have a lonely fourth but Thomas made a mistake with about three laps to go and that put me right back with him. I gave it my all at the end but credit to him because he didn’t crack under pressure and he never gave me a chance to take third. It would have been great to get on the podium again but now we go into the summer break on the back of a positive result and we can look forward to Indianapolis with a lot of optimism that we will be up there battling for the top three again.”
Teammate Xavier Simeon saw a miserable weekend ended by a collision with Axel Pons and the Belgian rider, who's had an injury-hit season so far, thinks the month-long break has come at the right time for him.
“I made a really good start and was already inside the top 20 at the end of the first lap. A few riders passed me on the straight and then I lost contact with the group involving Krummenacher and Zarco. But I think I could have finished comfortably in the points and possibly around 12th. I was finding a good rhythm when Pons crashed in the last corner and I could not avoid him so we crashed out together. It’s pity because we had some bad luck and a few problems during the whole weekend and could never perform like we did in Sachsenring last week. Now I just hope to recover well during the summer break and get back to the good feeling I had in Germany at the next round in Indianapolis.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal was full of praise for Smith's performance and is backing both riders to come on strong when Moto2 returns at Indianapolis in August.
“That was an incredible race and I’m delighted with Bradley’s performance. Bradley did an incredible job from the start to the finish line and he pushed like a demon. We know he is a fighter and today he rode like a true champion. He was only one second away from the win and after all that effort he really deserved to finish on the podium. I’m also happy for the Tech 3 Racing Team. Everybody has been working non-stop to put the Mistral 610 back at the front in Moto2 and they can now start their summer break with a lot of satisfaction about today’s result. We can also take a lot of confidence from today into the remainder of the season. It’s a big shame that Xavier crashed today. During the whole weekend he could not show his true potential that we could clearly see in Sachsenring. Now we have to look forward but I am sure the break will allow him to be 100% fit for Indianapolis and fighting back inside the points. I’m sure too that Bradley’s result will be a boost for him as it is the first time the Mistral 610 has been so close to the front in 2012.”