Bradley Smith described his eighth place finish in the MotoGP season opener at Losail as a good result but admitted losing out on the top satellite spot took the shine off his evening. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was edged out by compatriot Cal Crutchlow and felt a more aggressive approach while following Yonny Hernandez could have changed the outcome.
“I must admit that despite the good result, I am slightly disappointed as we were so close to being the top satellite bike at Qatar. This is our ambition for the year, so to miss this opportunity is a bit annoying. However, to finish only half a second back from Cal isn’t bad at all, especially at this early stage of the season. I had a good feeling with the bike during the whole race and we kept a consistent pace. Yet, I wasn’t really able to race how I wanted to and I had to remain riding in a smooth style throughout the whole distance. This was a bit difficult when battling with the Honda or Ducati’s because those bikes require different riding styles, which need the rider to be a bit more aggressive. Nevertheless to finish 8th and collect some valuable points as well as some useful experience and being so close to our objective of the top satellite bike is not a disappointment. In addition, we will improve and learn from Jorge and Valentino in order to be closer to the front at Austin.”
Smith pipped teammate Pol Espargaro to eighth by a tenth of a second and the Spaniard, while frustrated with his evening, felt he couldn’t have done much more under the circumstances.
“It’s been a difficult weekend for us. We experienced some issues on the first two days, yet we were able to improve them yesterday and during this morning’s warm up, I felt truly confident on the bike. Having said that, we have had a slight problem with the electronics throughout the weekend, which we were not able to clarify so we didn’t adjust the traction control in order to remain in the best possible way. Therefore the setup of the anti-wheelie also wasn’t ideal and I lost a lot in acceleration. I just couldn’t pass the riders in front and I was often late on the brakes, so to be honest it was a real struggle. However, the main positive is that we managed to finish the Grand Prix and in any case, this weekend is normally a bit of an unusual one as we run at night and the conditions of the track are always changing so it’s difficult to take conclusion out of today’s race.”
“Of course, I’m not over the moon about today’s result as it was not my ambition. Yet, now we have to work on solving these problems at the next race in Austin where we must take advantage of the weekend as soon as the first session commences.”