Assen MotoGP: Bradley Smith disappointed with fourth

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British rider Bradley Smith failed to score his second 125GP podium in a week when he had to settle for a disappointing fourth place at Assen.

The Aspar Aprilia rider was second on the opening lap but lost contact with the leading group when he let Spaniard Efren Vazquez relegate him back to fifth in the early stages.

While Smith was struggling to move back by Vazquez, Marc Marquez and team-mate Nicolas Terol were able to make a break at the front.

And Smith also gave an opportunity for Pol Espargaro to move sufficiently clear to deny the Oxfordshire rider a crack at only his second podium finish of the season in Holland, Smith eventually finished in a lonely fourth and failed to capitalise on the momentum gained from his first podium of 2010 in Silverstone last weekend.

The 19-year-old said: “I got off to a good start, putting myself right into the mix early on.

"However, in the last chicane Vazquez hit the brakes mid-corner and split me up from the pack a bit. That was fairly decisive for my race.

"The pace was extremely high throughout, but I think that I still would have been able to stick with the podium group. I could see at the end of the race that I had a bit of damage to my Aprilia, but I was so focused that I don't know how it occurred.

"I think that I should be aiming for higher than fourth in races and, as I say, my pace is as fast as the winners.

"I need to pay more attention on the opening laps, because they are the ones in which everything is decided.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt