Bradley Smith not concerned by recent slump

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 04 June 2014 10:32

Bradley Smith has denied the pressure is building on the British rider after his early crash out of last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix in Mugello.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider made a brilliant start to his second season in MotoGP when he claimed a maiden front row start in the season’s opening clash in Qatar. He was then battling for a podium with the likes of Dani Pedrosa and Alvaro Bautista when he crashed out in the final stages of the floodlit first race.

He then finished fifth and close to the podium at the spectacular Circuit of the Americas in Texas, but has only managed a best of seventh in the four races since then.

And he had another tough weekend in Mugello when he crashed out unhurt on the third lap while running inside the top 10.

Smith’s dip in form has coincided with a terrific spell from Spanish teammate Pol Espargaro, who was second on the grid in Le Mans last month and only just lost out on a podium to compatriot Bautista.

He then qualified and raced to fifth in Mugello to maintain his position as the top non-factory rider in the standings with a third of the season completed.

With Smith hoping to secure a new deal with the French-based Tech 3 squad, he has played down the fact that pressure is building at a stage of the season where contracts are being finalised for 2015 and beyond.

Smith told MCN: “I am calm and I am not worried. The pace was there pretty much the whole weekend (in Mugello) and I was happy with qualifying and only a quarter-of-a-second off the front row.

"It is just not clicking unfortunately. We’ve had a tough couple of races and this crash certainly doesn’t help. It doesn’t do us any favours but we know what we are capable of and I am sure we’re going to be stronger in the next races.”