MotoGP: Mechanical problems rob Smith of finish

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Bradley Smith was left watching from the sidelines during Sunday’s MotoGP race at Barcelona’s Montmelò circuit after a technical problem with his Monster Tech3 Yamaha left him out of the race.

Suffering from the lights went out with what is suspected to have been a gearbox problem – even thought the team remained tight-lipped about the exact nature – Smith says he was robbed of the chance at a strong result.

“It goes without saying that this is quite an upsetting way to finish the Grand Prix. As soon as we began, I noticed that something wasn’t right with the bike, even though I didn’t know immediately what it was. We lost a lot of positions and I was struggling when slowing the bike down. Now, we will obviously investigate what happened in order to figure out what the issue was.

“However, it’s frustrating to finish this way because I certainly felt that we could have had a really positive close to an otherwise tricky weekend. Thanks to the Tech3 team for their efforts in Catalunya, we’ll work out the issue and then start again with testing tomorrow. Nevertheless, I am certain that we can get right back to where we need to be at the next round which is the Dutch TT.”

However, there were some positives from the weekend for Smith, who was able to make good progress from Monday’s test at the Catalan circuit.

“In general, the test was positive and we can leave Barcelona feeling content with what we achieved at the test. After the technical issue in the race, I am really pleased to complete 83 laps without any issues at all. I did a lot of tyre testing this morning for Michelin and they brought some interesting options so I’m excited to see how the tyres will evolve in the future.

“With regards to our setting, the main area of focus was the rear of the bike which seems to be where I’m most sensitive at the moment. We had quite a few different rear shock solutions that we wanted to try and although the result won’t necessarily boost performance, it will certainly make our weekend easier if I am struggling like I was here. Now, we have a good direction as well as more of an understanding about my YZR-M1.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer