2015 TOP IndepenDenT MotoGP rider
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
#AragonGP: This weekend has been a lot of fun. It was our second with the new RC16 package and we were able to test here a month ago, which meant we were already up to speed with our base setting and electronics. It was nice to fight with the guys for Q2 and my one-lap pace with the soft tyre was quite strong. At one point in the race today I was running P10 which is one of the best positions for us this season. I was strong in the first half of the race and then when the tyre dropped I struggled a bit more compared to the others around me. Nevertheless we’ll take a lot of positives from this weekend and we improved from Misano. Now the engineers and I have to study what we gathered from this race and bring some ideas. Randy de Puniet will now test here for two days and hopefully he can find a few more tenths to take overseas with us.
I felt good on soft tyres this morning and was close to making it straight through to Q2 and then during Q1 on the last lap I was coming up to Q2 pace again and riders sitting in the last corner held me up. Anyway I cannot do much about it. It would have been nice to go straight through. I struggled a little bit in FP4 and missed a bit of outright pace.
We’ll work a bit more in warm-up but tyres are still a question mark. It could be between the 40s-50s tomorrow for track temperature. We know that when the tyre starts spinning then there is a lot of overheating and a massive drop in performance. It’s gonna be key to look after the tyre.
The top five-six were separated by twenty seconds so the leaders really did a good job today with super-strong lap-times. This was always going to a weak track for us but we still improved a lot, especially when you look to last year.
We turned up with new package this weekend, which was going to make life a bit more difficult. We tried the very best we could and I pushed so hard to stay with the points group in the first half of the race but towards the end I had nothing left when the tyre started to drop.
We'll learn from this weekend and let’s see when we turn up to Aragon. I’m excited for that track because we did two days testing so I think we’ll have more to show.
OFFICIAL: BRADLEY SMITH TEST RIDER FOR THE APRILIA MOTOGP PROJECT
Aprilia's home GP at Misano Adriatico is also the chance for an important formalisation. MotoGP rider Bradley Smith will join the Aprilia Test Team for 2019 and will also compete astride the RS-GP in a series of wild cards during next season. The arrival of the British rider, runner-up 125 champion in 2009 on Aprilia, is part of the racing department's reorganisation and reinforcing process to consolidate the Aprilia MotoGP project.
Bradley Smith, born in 1990, took his first steps in motorcycle racing at a very young age in motocross, later making his début in the single-brand Aprilia Superteens where he was quickly in the limelight. He moved up to the 125 World Championship class in 2006, taking his first podium finish the following year. He was then runner-up champion in the category in 2009, whereas in 2011 and 2012 he raced in the intermediate Moto2 class. In his MotoGP experience, begun in 2013, he has finished twice on the podium and taken a series of top 10 placements. His trophy collection also includes one from the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours, won in 2015.
A lot of questions about my future. I hope to share news with you all very soon!
#BritishGP QP8: No messing around today. In qualifying I just had a feeling. I was out on the mediums, I knew most of the track was dry and just had to check out the three corners at the back of the circuit, once I realised they had pretty good grip I decided to get on with it. I went to take the best out of the tyre but we got a second lap out of it, which was positive. The issue then was that I had to go into Q2 with no tyres left, just used ones, and had to let it cool down as much as I could. To only be 1.3 away then we’ll take that and it’s been a good day and certainly makes tomorrow a lot easier. The guys are looking at the data today to work out where we can make it work a little better if there is rain.
#AustrianGP: The nice thing is that we are learning more and more about the bike and made more improvements in the morning. The warm-up was a lot of fun and in cool track conditions the grip level was high and I could get the maximum out of the bike, and in Qualifying we have been able to extract better performance; which is something I have been focussing on.
I knew the race would be a bit of a struggle because the bike has its strengths but when the track gets greasy then this is where we see some weaknesses. I qualified 13th and finished 14th and this is where we expected to be. We finished ahead of some good riders on good bikes and I don't think we can ask for much more.
We pretty much defeated nearly all the satellite riders. I felt I made a perfect race and there was not much else I could have done. The team did a great job setting up the bike and 14th was our position today.
#CzechGP: Today was very frustrating but it has to be expected back there when everybody is jostling for position. The whole weekend was super-tight again. I was braking into Turn3 and Stefan took a lunge up the inside and tucked the front. His bike slid into mine and then I slid into Maverick and we all went down.
We’ll have a lot to do now in the test and I’ll have a busy day but we got through a lot of stuff this weekend anyway. We still have a long list and I’ll be first out on track tomorrow and the last to leave.