Bradley Smith returned to the Moto2 class for the first time since 2012 at this weekends British Grand Prix as the rider from Oxford replaced the injured Khairul Idham Pawi.
Taking his time to get up to speed with the new Triumph 765cc Moto2 machines, Smith had a steady Friday, ending the opening day in twenty-seventh, 2.321 seconds off Jorge Navarro‘s top time.
Smith continued to improve on his time, knocking a whole second off his time from Free Practice two and built his confidence ahead of the fifteen-minute Qualifying one session.
In Q1, Smith was able to match his Free Practice Three-time, putting him on twenty-eighth on the grid.
The Petronas Sprinta Racing rider started well, picking up a few positions on the opening laps and stayed with the group in the first half of the race.
Unfortunately for the 28-year-old, Smith’s race ended prematurely after losing the front at Luffield, setting fire to the Kalex as it slid in the gravel.
Despite the crash, Smith was upbeat and spoke about his Moto2 return and said: “I found my rhythm in the race, had just done my best time of the weekend and was feeling better and better – but maybe I forgot what bike I was riding and flicked it into the last corner a little bit too aggressively and lost the front. That’s the negative of riding lots of different bikes in a short space of time. I’m sorry for the team because we didn’t want things to end this way. Apart from the crash, I’m very pleased with the progress we made over the weekend and I really enjoyed the opportunity.”
Smith will return to the track for the first doubleheader in the inaugural MotoE World Cup as he returns to his One Energy team in Misano.