BRADLEY SMITH MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3
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.”