Britain’s Bradley Smith took positives from yesterday’s ninth place in Motegi’s MotoGP clash, saying he was surprised by the pace and consistency of laptimes and by finishing only 23s behind winner Jorge Lorenzo.
The Oxfordshire rider struggled in the Friday free practices, ending the day in eighth and a second off the pace but managed to find some speed and fought with team-mate Pol Espargaro for a majority of the race.
“I enjoyed the race but I didn’t think I was going to be able to do those type of laptimes. They were super-consistent from the beginning of the race to the end and it was nice to fight with Pol,” said Smith, speaking at Motegi.
“We have different riding styles, so it was good for me to learn a little bit behind him and try to add that to my arsenal for the remaining three races. I can’t be too disappointed with the performance, the team did a good job considering the difficult times on Friday.
“Of course, ninth position isn’t something to be too happy about but we were the closest we have been to the leaders at the end so we are improving but we need to find that little bit extra from somewhere.”