Yamaha thrilled to see Bradley Smith break MotoGP podium duck

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Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis says he was delighted to see British rider Bradley Smith end his search for a maiden MotoGP podium in an incident-packed Phillip Island race in Australia yesterday.

The Oxfordshire rider joined Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo for an all-Yamaha podium for the first time since the Le Mans round in France in 2008 when he finished third in a dramatic 27-lap race.

Starting from fourth on the grid, Smith was embroiled in an exciting scrap for fourth with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Pol Espargaro, Aleix Espargaro, Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso.

It quickly became a three-rider tussle when Bradl crashed after ploughing into the back of (Aleix) Espargaro’s Forward Yamaha at turn four on lap 20.

Espargaro had to quickly retire with the impact damaging his electronics and then Pol Espargaro crashed out of fourth on the penultimate lap to move Smith back into his starting position.

But he secured a career first MotoGP podium and 24th of his GP career when ex-Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Cal Crutchlow fell out of second place on the final lap after losing the front-end of his Ducati GP14 at turn four.

Smith crossed the line in third and Yamaha boss Jarvis is now hoping Smith can build on the confidence gained from his breakthrough performance.

Jarvis told MCN: “Results breed results because a rider gets confident and sees he can do it and it is a real boost. It is great to see Bradley get the podium and it is well deserved.

"He works harder than a lot of others and he has been in the game for a while, so I am really happy he is on the podium and looking forward to seeing him up there again in the future.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt