Bradley Smith is hoping to use an impressive start to his 2015 season as a springboard to more success, starting in this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. The Briton was the leading satellite rider in Austin and has also shown good pace in Qatar and Argentina with Cal Crutchlow emerging as his chief rival for satellite honours this season.
With Jerez the scene of success in the past for Smith, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider hopes to be celebrating again on Sunday by regaining the initiative in the battle with his compatriot.
“I’m really excited about racing at Jerez this weekend and I aim to continue the positive momentum that I have so far this season. As it’s my third year with the team aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1, I know the bike and the guys all well by now and I know we can be strong here in front of the superb crowd. The start of the year has been great and we’ve been in the hunt for the leading satellite position at every race so far. Now it’s time to take to the European soil and fight for this again. This track has a special place in my heart as I won my first race in the 125cc class in 2009 and I’ve had some other strong results here as well, so this weekend I will be aiming to extend my positive record. The track is fast flowing and as always, Friday and Saturday will be crucial for setting up the bike for Sunday, but we are full of optimism and I can’t wait to start the fight again.”
Teammate Pol Espargaro has endured a disappointing start to 2015 and trails Smith by thirteen points but the Spaniard is refusing to panic and expects his luck to turn soon.
“After the first three races, we’re heading back to Europe and for the first GP in my home country, which is always brilliant. The fans really help and motivate me and in Jerez the support is incredible. So I want to repay them with a great show in the race. We have been a bit unlucky in the three opening rounds and couldn’t perform at our best, therefore I wasn’t able to challenge my teammate. Yet, the team is doing a great job and I feel confident on the bike so overall, I am ready to go and challenge for the positions that I want and need to be in. The track is fast and it’s such good fun to ride on the Yamaha, which really likes the rapid corners. We have a few things to work on, but we will hit the ground running, aim to qualify well and then see what happens. It was nice that we had a few days back at home to relax before we go to Andalusia for round 4 and the first European race, where I feel more confident about competing on these familiar tracks.”