Monster Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith showed why he’s secured one of the best seats in MotoGP with an eighth place finish at the Sepang MotoGP tests.
His last day of three days on the bike consisted of a 48-lap stint with a race simulation in intense heat.
Despite weighing around 100kg less than the Moto2 bike he’s used too, and packing more than 100bhp on the Moto2 bike, Smith has made a smooth and impressive transition on the Yamaha M1.
Smith ended with a best time of 2.02.093 on day three, which was within two seconds of the quickest pace set by Pedrosa and he was only a second away from the top six. His fastest time at the test was yesterday's 2.01.931 that secured him the eighth quickest time overall.
Bradley Smith said: “I am really happy with the way this test has gone and my lap times and final position have already given me a lot of confidence. I didn't come here with any expectations but to be eighth is where this bike needs to be. I am still not getting all of the potential out of the YZR-M1 but I am gaining in confidence with every lap I complete and it has been mission accomplished in terms of coming here and understanding how the bike needs to be ridden.”
He added: “I still need to be a lot smoother but I am happy to be within two seconds of the fastest time. I knew that was possible but the hard work starts now to close that gap even more. The race simulation was amazing to build up my experience but it was seriously hard work. It was the hottest day and it is very physically and mentally demanding to ride a MotoGP bike at that pace over a long distance. It is hard to concentrate but the best thing was on the last lap I did a 2.02.9 and my best lap was a 2.02.5. So I was consistent and while I need to be faster, I'm really happy to be leaving this test having learned so much. I need a good sleep now to digest all the information I've taken on but already I can't wait to be back on the bike here later this month.”
Picture courtesy of Monster Yamaha and www.bradleysmith38.com