Bradley Smith turned up his Moto2 education a notch by leading a Moto2 race for the first time at Jerez today. Smith started in fifth position on the grid and wasted no time in seizing an opportunity to claim the lead on the first lap. He was quickly passed by Simone Corsi and Thomas Luthi but continued a brilliant early charge to remain in the top three until lap seven when eventual winner Andrea Iannone charged past.
Mike di Meglio experienced a weeked that was the exact opposite to Smith – he struggled to find a comfortable set-up in the damp conditins and finished in 27th position and outside of the points.
Bradley Smith 4th – 20 points
“I thought ninth was a great result in Qatar, so fourth just feels fantastic and I want to thank my Tech 3 Racing Team and my crew chief Tom Jojic because the bike was working brilliantly in really difficult conditions. The step we made with the set-up in the wet conditions from the Warm-up was huge and I felt much more confident in the race. In those conditions you need to concentrate so hard that the race feels like a lifetime but I just decided to attack from the start. I was a bit shocked to lead but I felt comfortable because it’s not the first time I’ve been at the front of a Grand Prix. I realised pretty quickly I didn’t have the pace to match Luthi and Iannone when they came by but that’s down to my inexperience and a bit of confidence to push like they were in the rain. If I could run the race again though I’m sure I could have stayed with Corsi and battl closer for the podium. I just lost my rhythm a little bit at about two-thirds distance after a couple of big moments and I got a bit tense and that doesn’t help you ride fast in the rain. It was great to fight with Bradl and once he came by I relaxed a little bit and picked up my pace again. When he made that late mistake I just decided to attack and push as hard as I could and fourth is an amazing result when you consider how tough this class is and how difficult the conditions were. I’ve still got a lot to learn to be fighting closer for the podium but I’ll take this fourth with both hands and look forward to the next race in Estoril with a lot of confidence and optimism.”
Mike di Meglio 26th – 0 points
“The whole weekend was very difficult. We had the crash on Friday and a lot of things were going on. Now we have a bigger break and I hope we will be able to test, as I need to understand what is going on. The bike is good I think, but unfortunately I did not find the right balance yet. We start off quite close to the first riders in practice, but then we start to lose more and more time and that is not normal. We need to understand why this happens before Portugal. I hope that we will be able to get back to the front soon where Bradley is because he’s doing a fantastic job for the Tech 3 Racing Team.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“We never like to see a race start in these conditions as we never know what will happen. The conditions are very tricky and anything really can happen. Fortunately Bradley was born in England and he can cope with the rain! His start was awesome. He was aggressive at the right moment, took the lead and was able to be close to the front for a few laps. But importantly he never tried too hard and let the others pass when he thought it was wiser to let them get in front. The second part of the race was very long for my heart. It started to rain more, so it got more difficult as the tyres got more used. I am really pleased with Bradley and his way of learning and his improvements. He is really fast and that shows that the Mistral610 has a good potential, which I hope can be picked up by Mike. It was a tough weekend for Mike and clearly he needs to find some confidence. I have no doubt that he can go fast and I believe in him and I hope that the fact that Bradley is doing so well will help Mike to get his confidence back.”
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