A revised riding position evaluated by Bradley Smith during a one-day MotoGP test at Misano earlier this week gave the British rookie a timely boost after difficult recent races.
Smith was not as competitive as he had anticipated in his home round at Silverstone and last weekend at Misano he missed the top 10 for the only second time in 10 finishes for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad.
The 22-year-old though was delighted with progress made when he experimented with a new riding position in Misano on Monday. With more of his body weight moved over the rear of his YZR-M1 machine, Smith found an immediate benefit in rear grip and after setting the 11th fastest time with a quickest pace of 1.34.414 he said:
“We were trying to figure out what went wrong during the last couple of races and I believe we found a good direction. We have come back more towards my base setting with some specific changes for Misano. I changed the rider position and that definitely helped me. Maybe not so much on old tyres but definitely on worn tyres and with a full fuel load as well. I think the new seating position will make us much less sensitive to a lack of rear grip.
The fact of me sitting over the rear of the bike a bit more is going to make the bike less sensitive. We tried different rear suspension settings but nothing really had the impact that moving me back more did. I would like to be moved back more but it is not within the parameters of the set-up. It means we are getting more temperature and working the rear tyre more, so when the tyre goes off we are not spinning and going sideways but spinning and still going forward. Looking at the lap time I was able to reach we have found a good step with that setting.”