Bradley Smith had no complaints after closing the opening day of his home Grand Prix in fourth position overall. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was comfortably the quickest Yamaha as his teammate joined the factory riders outside the top ten and although Smith expects that particular gap to close, he still feels in good shape heading into tomorrow.
“Straight away I felt much more confident and much more comfortable. Looking at the tyre selection, I think they’re very similar to last year so I was a bit worried when I started this morning but already from the first lap I felt a lot happier and I think that showed in terms of lap time and performance. We have to understand that some of the Yamaha guys didn’t out new tyres in so they’re going to extract a little bit more lap time tomorrow but in terms of a base bike, it’s a good start to day one. We did some good work in the Brno test and I’m glad that’s carried across.”
One particular feature of the Silverstone circuit which has been catching the riders out is the bumps, Cal Crutchlow likening it to a “motocross track” in places, and Smith was another to pick up on the deterioration since last season.
“I don’t know what kind of motocross track Cal’s been riding but it is bumpy! The Formula One cars have really chewed it up this year, especially at turn one where there are quite a few. Stowe’s getting quite polished so there’s not a lot of grip in the middle of there and braking down into the Vale chicane is like a whoop section now! The biggest issue is trying to make the front copy the bumps rather than bounce on top of them so that’s the main issue we’re trying to fight against.”