MotoE: Smith charges to the lead of debut test

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Bradley Smith has charged to the top of the combined time sheets at MotoE’s inaugural test at Jerez, ending the three-day outing nearly half a second clear of Niki Tuuli and Mike Di Meglio. Adapting well to the one make series’ Energica Ego machines, the Brit was able to also dodge the worst of the wet weather to end up comfortable on a brand new type of machine for him.

“I'm very happy with the work we've done today. We set a fast lap in the morning session, and I've felt better and better with the bike. In the afternoon we had mixed conditions on track, and it was good to have references for mapping and try out different setups to see what else we can work on for next March. In the last session there were a lot of puddles; we went out with slicks and were very competitive again.

“I'm very satisfied with this first test, as we have always been among the fastest riders and we have more and more knowledge about the bike. We know which direction to take and what to do to improve. I really enjoyed myself with my new team, and I'm looking forward to coming back to Jerez in March!”

The test also marked the return to competitive racing for Sete Gibernau for the first time since 2009, with the former championship runner-up admitting it was a great feeling to get back in the saddle.

"After a long time without getting on a competition motorcycle I have to say that at the beginning I felt a bit rusty, which is normal. I found it hard to connect all the senses when things happen fast but the summary is that I enjoyed it a lot, I have felt very comfortable with the team and had not enjoyed that way with a motorbike in a long time. The MotoE has surprised me in every way, it is a more fun motorcycle than I could imagine and, although it is heavy, it allows you to enjoy it. I am very happy with this first contact and I am sure it will be a category in which times are going to be very tight, I will continue working and preparing myself to get better to the next test.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer