BRADLEY SMITH MON­STER YAMAHA TECH 3

Motorcycle News (UK) - - 2016 Motorgp Silverstone Preview -

Fin­ish­ing in­side the top 10 in your home Grand Prix might sound like a mod­est am­bi­tion for a rider of the cal­i­bre of Bradley Smith. But such is the strength in depth and qual­ity of this year’s Mo­togp field that it would be mis­sion ac­com­plished for the lo­cal boy to chal­lenge for a top 10 fin­ish.

Smith has strug­gled to match the speed and con­sis­tency of a stel­lar 2015 when he es­tab­lished him­self as a reg­u­lar top six con­tender on board the Mon­ster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1.

The tran­si­tion from Bridge­stone to Miche­lin tyres took longer for Smith to ad­just to than an­tic­i­pated but he said: “It would be nice to come home in the seventh place I took last year be­cause I think that would be a de­cent re­sult. It seems at the mo­ment to be a strug­gle but I don’t think that kind of re­sult is pie in the sky like a few weeks ago. It is def­i­nitely more realistic to think I can be there. Such a big part of rac­ing is psy­cho­log­i­cal and you al­ways have that boost when you are at home. In Ger­many re­cently, 0.2s split Danilo Petrucci in fourth and me in 14th, so any ex­tra push in you from the home crowd can turn around the whole re­sult.”

Smith is cer­tainly rel­ish­ing the prospect of tack­ling the long and tech­ni­cal Sil­ver­stone lay­out, which has made it a firm favourite since it joined the Mo­togp sched­ule back in 2010.

“Sil­ver­stone is great fun for me. We try and treat it the same but it does al­ways mean more than the other races. It al­ways feels spe­cial when I go there and I seem to al­ways have good re­sults and I like the lay­out of the track. It takes big com­mit­ment be­cause the track is su­per fast. I am cer­tainly not scared of the place and I al­ways en­joy it. This year I can’t deny I’m go­ing in a lit­tle bit on the back foot but that is quite nice be­cause it means there is no pres­sure on me. Last year I was hav­ing such a good sea­son that I felt more of the fo­cus was on me to get a good re­sult. But with Scott and Cal on the podium re­cently they can take a bit of the lime­light and I can go in a bit un­der the radar.”

Smith is hop­ing to come in un­der the radar at Sil­ver­stone On the Blusens Aprilia 125 in 2008, Red­ding took his first home GP win

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