Bradley Smith says he’s going into what could be his final British Grand Prix ever happy, knowing that while he might not have a chance at podium success, he’ll have the backing of his home crowd – and perhaps even a little extra bravery as he tries to continue his run of good form on the KTM.
An Oxfordshire native who hails from only 20 miles away from the iconic track, Smith told MCN that he thinks he understands exactly why it seems that Grand Prix racing’s British riders are always able to eke out a little extra at the iconic track.
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"I feel that there’s something about racing at home that makes you go faster, even though I’m not sure exactly what it is. It might be because the circuit is so fast and you have to be so brave to go faster at it, and maybe that extra pride and patriotism gives you a bravery pill.
"It lights the firecracker under you and helps when you’re going for a few places early on, when you’re making a last lap lunge or for a qualifying lap. It’s when you feel the benefit of the extra boost. It’s nice for us, because being extra brave around somewhere like Sachsenring will only leave you in the gravel trap!"
Home fans offer extra support
And while it might be his last race in the premier class at home, he says that the incredible support he receives from the home fans will make that a little easier to take.
"The nice thing about this year is that I get supported by everyone regardless, and that means a lot to me. Over the last couple of years with KTM, I don't get supported because I’m top Brit or because I'm on TV all weekend. I haven’t been flavour of the month. So the people who are supporting me are the ones who are loyal, who support me because I’m Bradley Smith.
"They support me because of what I’ve done in the past or because they like me as a human being, and that can't ever be taken away. That type of support means the world to me and it'll be nice to race in front of everyone for potentially the last time and to really savour the cool down lap."
Pick up this week's MCN for an extensive, 36-page British Grand Prix preview featuring exclusive interviews with Rossi, Marquez and Lorenzo, a hot lap with Cal Crutchlow and the tech secrets between Marquez' championship-leading Honda.
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