British rookie Bradley Smith has denied he is under any extra pressure to deliver in Sunday’s inaugural Circuit of the Americas (COTA) MotoGP clash in Texas.
The 22-year-old failed to finish on his premier class debut in the Qatar night race earlier this month when he crashed out in the early stages while challenging for the top 10.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider denied that his debut DNF ramped up the pressure for him to get a decent finish in the long-awaited first race at the long and technical COTA track in Austin.
Speaking to MCN, the former 125GP winner said: “Before we went to Qatar my idea was that it was still an extended winter test. I was still lacking seat time and because practice and qualifying in Qatar went so well, suddenly the expectation bar shot through the roof and that’s why I was disappointed come race day.
I think we can bring that expectation bar down a bit. Obviously I need to finish the race in Texas because getting a full race distance under my belt is the only way to learn. I don’t feel pressure from it. If I’d crashed a few times and this was just another thing again then I’d be worried but it was a rookie error and I have learned from it and I will be ready for Texas.”