Bradley Smith grasped the opportunity to learn from nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi during the second day of MotoGP testing at the Jerez track in Spain.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie followed the Italian legend for two laps this afternoon as the MotoGP field got the chance to test on a dry track following yesterday’s torrential rain.
Smith ended up 12th on the timesheets today with a best time of 1.41.398 that put him 1.873s adrift of Rossi, who ended Spanish domination of the pre-season campaign to set the quickest time.
Smith was only just over 0.7s away from the top six and he said tailing Rossi’s factory YZR-M1 was a short but invaluable experience.
“I got to follow Valentino for two laps and that opened my eyes to my weaknesses, “said the former 125GP winner.
He added: “In certain points I am pretty decent but I am still trying to rush into the corner too much and trying a little bit too hard. He taught me a lot about technique and how to ride a MotoGP bike. It was only two laps but it was positive.
"I’ve got a terrible habit of trying to chase into corners at the moment. Not braking too late but trying to chase the speed going in and not using the engine characteristic to get out of the corner.
"A MotoGP bike is all about driving and preparing for the next corner and moving onto the next one and obviously if you run wide at Turn 2, which I seem to love to do at the moment, then you are wide for Turn 3 and slow for Turn 4.
"It goes all the way onto the back straight and this track is a jigsaw puzzle and it flows all together.”