Bradley Smith wants to be snapping at the heels of the factory riders in this weekend’s MotoGP season opener at Losail. The Briton shone under the floodlights in Qatar last year, qualifying on the front row of the grid, and after a productive pre-season programme, Smith is hoping to get in amongst the likes of Repsol Honda and Movistar Yamaha again this year.
“Obviously, I am thrilled that we are racing again this weekend and it’s so good to get back on track! My off season was very productive and I did a lot of training to ensure that I am as prepared as possible for this year. I am also pleased with what we accomplished in the testing and I am excited about the potential of the Yamaha, plus the team and I did a lot of work, which I must thank them for. Realistically, there will be a few more tweaks that we need to do when we arrive, but we must hit the ground running and make the most of the available practice time in order to prepare for Sunday. I am confident of a good result here and will certainly be looking to battle as close as possible to the factory bikes. I’m already gritting my teeth with anticipation for Sunday’s race and I can’t wait to get going.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Team Principal, Herve Poncharal, is setting similar goals for his British rider and has challenged Smith to kick on after his maiden MotoGP rostrum last October.
“Bradley got some great results in 2014, especially that debut podium in Australia and he’s had a good pre-season plus seems confident in the capability of not only the bike, but himself too. He also started the race in Qatar on the front row last year so therefore, we hope he can fight as close as possible to the factory bikes along with his teammate. There are 18 races which will all be very tightly contested, but we as a team are all ready and excited for this year. Now it’s time for the lights to go out and start racing again and the fans will surely be in for a treat.”