Smith says 2016 testing ‘very different’

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Bradley Smith has described the 2016 pre-season as ‘very different’ to previous years, as the Yamaha rider undergoes the first major rule changes of his time in MotoGP with new electronics and tyres.

However, despite the rule changes, he says he’s satisfied with the progress he’s made, and is ready to challenge for his goals come the opening race of the series in two weeks time in Qatar.

“We closed the test positively, but all in all the pre season 2016 has been quite different compared to other years. It’s been an interesting process where we’ve had to get used to the new tyres, as well as to judge their evolution because we’ve had some different front and rear tyre specs to evaluate. I must say that learning to adapt the bike to these different compounds has been a challenge.

“Some parts of the pre season have also been frustrating for me because of the time the weather took from us in Australia, and also the tyre situation a bit here in Qatar and as a result, we weren’t able to extract the maximum from the available testing time. Nevertheless, we are within touching distance of our target, which I think will be inside the top 8 this year. “

Yet despite losing out on time during the test, thanks to weather and tyre issues throughout 2016’s three outings so far, the Oxfordshire racer says that he’s delighted to be in a position where they can finally concentrate on what is important.

“I’m excited to complete the testing and finally get into racing mode as the competition brings out a bit of extra pressure which some people like and some don’t. For me, I like to be put under pressure and I feel I perform better in that way, so roll on the start of the season and FP1 in a few weeks’ time.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer