Britain’s Bradley Smith managed to bag fifth place in yesterday’s rain-hit Aragon MotoGP round despite using hard compound wets for the last six laps and losing 19 seconds to former team-mate Cal Crutchlow.
The Monster Yamaha man had made up huge ground after a first-lap dust up saw him slide backwards through the pack and, after he passed Crutchlow’s Ducati, he pitted and his team had shod the spare bike with a set of unscrubbed hard wets instead of scrubbed softs that were sitting in the garage.
As he and Crutchlow left the pits, the Isle of Man resident, sitting on soft-compounds wets, was able to ride around the outside of Smith and disappear into the distance but Smith said he was pleased to take fifth in a tough race.
“We don’t seem to have Ducati pace, they seem to have the little bit extra in the rain. As a team we made a mistake by putting in the hard tyres with only six laps to go. The soft would have been perfect and I had a set in the garage that I had scrubbed in warm-up so they would have been good but instead I went out on a hard that wasn’t even scrubbed in,” said Smith, speaking at Aragon.
“I knew going up the hill and when Cal came around the outside of me with his knee on the floor while I am floating around so I thought, “OK, see you later mate’. It is frustrating and something that needs looking into as 19 seconds in six laps is silly.
“But Jorge was able to do some good laptimes so we are able to learn from whatever he was able to do so that gives us a direction for the next races. I hadn’t seen anyone crash apart from Marc on the floor. I was chuffed when I came across the line but I didn’t know I was fifth until I looked at the big screen.”