Bradley Smith destroys Moto2 bike in test crash
Bradley Smith escaped unhurt but destroyed a Tech 3 Racing Moto2 machine as he took part in a freezing cold and wet testing double-header in Spain earlier this week.
The 20-year-old braved chilly conditions at the Motorland Aragon circuit to familiarise himself more with the heavier and more powerful Moto2 machine he will campaign alongside Mike di Meglio in 2011.
Track temperatures only reached five degrees and prevented any meaningful testing with Smith struggling to generate any heat into the Dunlop tyres.
The Tech 3 Team then moved overnight to the Catalunya track near Barcelona only to be greeted by wet conditions.
Smith opted to ride to gain some experience of a Moto2 bike in full wet conditions but crashed heavily at the end of the back straight approaching the stadium section on only his second lap.
He was able to walk away from the incident unscathed but his Tech 3 machine was written off having cartwheeled several times in the gravel trap before clearing the trackside safety fence and landing on the perimeter road.
Smith, who won the final 125GP of the 2010 campaign in Valencia last month, said: “In Aragon the highest track temperature was only five degrees and I could only do four or five laps at a time because my hands were absolutely freezing.
"I had to close the vents on my helmet as well because it was so cold. It was still worthwhile though because we worked on bike position with footrests and handlebars to help get me comfortable on the bike. In Barcelona it was wet and it was only the second lap and I chucked it down the road and wrote off the bike.
"I was probably a bit inexperienced with the brakes on the Moto2 bike and with the rain and the cold I went down. I got up but I couldn’t see the bike anywhere and it had flipped the fence and ended on the service road. I buried my head in embarrassment and offered a big apology to the team because I ruined the bike.”
Smith did get back on track and completed ten laps on the new 2011 Tech 3 contender.
“For the conditions I was getting good feedback from the 2011 chassis and I can’t wait to test it in the dry. I went 2.5s faster than Mike did in just ten laps. I was riding a modified 2010 bike and the 2011 bike felt instantly much better.
"It was good fun too riding a more powerful bike with a bigger rear tyre because you could slide it a lot. On a 125 if you did that you’d end up on your backside. You could play with the throttle and get a lot more feeling coming through the bike. To ride the bike in those conditions was still a big help because you get to understand the bike, even at low speed," said Smith.