Bradley Smith is confident of continuing his strong start to 2015 at Mugello this weekend, believing the circuit will play to the strengths of his Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1. The Briton trails Cal Crutchlow by a single point in the satellite battle after an impressive showing at Le Mans and Smith is looking to match the level of performance he showed in France.
“It’s that time of the year when we visit the awesome Mugello circuit again. Riding this track is a real pleasure and the race event is one that everyone enjoys, especially as the crowd is always so passionate. The track is undulating and there is a huge straight which means some of the fastest top speeds of the year are set there. With regards to the Yamaha, the flowing nature of the circuit suits us and as long as I ride smoothly, I feel that we can clinch a good result. Last race, I was right in the hunt with Iannone and Marquez in the final section of the race, so I hope to be in a similar position this time around on Sunday afternoon. As always, we will try to hit the ground running and we will look to get everything set up as soon as possible so that we can have a strong qualifying which is vital in order to close the weekend with a positive result in the race.”
Teammate Pol Espargaro has undergone arm-pump surgery since the French Grand Prix and the Spaniard admits he is unsure how competitive he will be in Italy given his physical state.
“I am excited about riding the Yamaha in the Tuscan hills this weekend! It will be a long race, especially after the surgery, but some corners such as the Casanova or the Savelli, are great fun to ride on a MotoGP bike. My operation was successful last week and I’ve had a few days to recover so that I can be as ready as possible for this race, which is a physically demanding one. The last GP was tricky due to my injury, but I still managed to finish the race in 7th and picked up some valuable championship points. Also this weekend I will push as hard as possible on race day but we will see how my arm feels before I make any serious predictions, yet for sure, I aim to be as high as possible.”
“Last year I finished the race in 5th position and I’ve scored three podiums in the lower leagues at the track. To do the same this year would be great, so the plan is to qualify well and then finish the race in a strong placement. The atmosphere created by the crowd is always amazing and the perfect addition to our racing so I can’t wait to see them at the track supporting us as enthusiastically as they always do.”