Bradley Smith is looking forward to completing his first laps on the new Tech 3 Moto2 machine tomorrow (Wednesday), as the British rider kicks off his 2012 preparations in Jerez.
Bad weather prevented the Oxfordshire rider from completing any laps on the new Mistral 610 machine in Valencia earlier this month, so this week’s three-day session is his first opportunity to evaluate the latest generation Tech 3 contender.
The prime focus for next year’s bike is on improving rear grip as Smith looks to build on a promising debut campaign in the ultra-competitive Moto2 class.
He scored three podium finishes in Silverstone, Assen and Mugello and was a regular top six threat, but he is keen to understand how much the Mistral 610 has progressed.
The Tech 3 project has been given a boost for 2012 with experienced engineer Guy Coulon becoming Technical Director of the project.
He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and has most recently served as crew chief to Colin Edwards in the MotoGP class.
Smith told MCN: “I’m excited to get the 2012 bike and see how it all pans out. We will be pushing hard on development next year with Guy now he is the technical director of Moto2, so that should be even better for us.
"There is not one area that we have to fix but we are just trying to get a better overall package. All our ideas are based on the data gained from 2010 and ’11. At the end of the day this bike has been based around my feedback, so if it has been good then it will be awesome but if it has been bad it will suck!”
Smith said the key to the test was to workout if a new chassis and swingarm package had improved rear grip.
He added: “We have always complained about rear grip and it is always something you are looking for. But at the end of the day when everybody is on the same engine and tyres, what makes the difference is how fast you can get off the corner.
"And if you can get off the corner fast you go down the straight quicker. We made big improvements compared to the start of 2011 but it is something we need more of.”