Bradley Smith has set out to reinvent the wheel on his Monster Yamaha at this weekend’s third round of MotoGP in Austin, radically adjusting his M1 machine after struggling in the opening two rounds.
Finishing the opening day in a distant 21st, the Oxfordshire racer was nonetheless upbeat at the end, however, saying that the pace was good considering the radical changes they’ve made.
“We’re struggling, but I kind of knew that would be the case today. We’re reinventing the whole setting the whole of way of making the motorcycle work, because we weren’t finding it where we were – we were lost. Nothing seemed to be working. So we’re completely reinventing everything we’ve learned in the past 24 months.
“I was actually quite pleased that I went as well as we did, because we changed a lot of things from riding position to suspension to geometry. Today was the first day of preseason – and that’s what we have to do to get close enough. We’re constantly fighting for something that’s not there and not working. “
The changes come on the back of an important realisation for both team and ride – that the current settings they’ve been using, an evolution of their old Bridgestone base, just wasn’t working as well as hoped with the new Michelin tyres.
“The tyre allocation isn’t changing in my favour, so I have to change my bike to suit the tyres. I tried my hardest to stay in a position I know; I didn’t want to throw away two years of hard work – but finally that’s what we’ve had to come to. It’s a hard decision, but it’s one that we’ve taken and that we’ll try and make right as soon as possible.”