Smith Targeting Top Five After Promising Performance

Bradley Smith believes he can realistically challenge to be the top satellite rider in tomorrow’s British Grand Prix after qualifying seventh today. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was knocked off the second row late on by Valentino Rossi but doesn’t think he will be far away from the Italian if everything goes to plan tomorrow.

“I’m optimistic that we can get a good start. I had great pace in FP4 today, stayed out the whole time and put in consistent 2:03s which is the first time I’ve done that kind of pace and consistency on full fuel so I’m ready for a good race tomorrow. I feel top five is what we can aim for tomorrow and if we have an exceptional race, maybe I can hang onto the coattails of a factory bike in blue which would be nice. They always seem to find a pace or a set-up for the race which takes them up to that next level so fifth position is what we’re going for and after FP4 I think it’s a realistic target.”

The Briton was pleased with the progress made overnight after starting well on Friday and sees further room to improve his YZR-M1 for race day.

“We improved 1.5s on yesterday. Obviously some of that is down to the track and some is down to a few set-up changes. We’re still struggling in some places but they’re all similar corners so it should be quite easy to make a subtle change for tomorrow. I’m really pleased to be fighting with the factory Yamahas although I made a slight mistake on my fastest lap. I missed a gear and maybe there was 0.1s or 0.2s left out on track today.”