Bradley Smith - Britain's hope for a GP Championship
By Stephen W Clark
The Moto2 class replaced the 250 2-stroke class in 2010 as part of the MotoGP World Championship. With large talent packed grids competing against each other bikes with identical Honda engines, Moto2 offers some incredibly exciting racing. The Moto2 class is a great way for former 125 GP riders to gain experience on a multi-cylinder 4-stroke machine preparing them for other big bike classes like MotoGP. Another positive attribute of the class is that spec engine makes it more affordable for teams to compete in Moto2 as the teams don’t have to develop an expensive prototype engine as in MotoGP, the affordability of the class has led to bigger grids. Along with running the Monster Yamaha MotoGP team, Tech 3 also runs two Moto2 teams with three riders. Rookie Moto2 rider Bradley Smith is adapting quickly to his Tech 3 Mistral 610 bike and is currently 3rd in the championship.
The young British rider has followed the proven racing career path of the Red Bull Rookies Cup followed by a season in the Spanish CEV Championship where he finished 2nd. In 2006 Smith began his GP career in the 125 class, in 2007 Smith racked up several top-ten finishes and one podium in France. 2008 was even better for Smith as he scored one 3rd place finish and 3 2nd place finishes. Smith continued to progress and by 2009 he was winning races and challenging for the championship finishing the season 2nd. In 2010 Smith was a championship favorite but in spite of a win and several podium finishes Smith finished the championship in 4th. Now a seasoned GP rider Smith moved up to Moto2 for the 2011 season and in the 30+ rider championship is doing very well.
In his first race on the 600 Moto2 bike at Qatar Smith finished in the top ten. The next round in Spain was even better with a 4th, but a rear tire puncture during the Portuguese GP put pay to a good finish. In France Smith was back in good form passing nine riders in the first lap and finishing the race in 9th. More bad luck ensued in Spain when Smith was involved in a crash between Thomas Luthi and Yuki Takahashi, Smith was able to finish the race in 19th but lost a lot of positions while trying to adjust a bent clutch lever. By Smith’s home GP at Silverstone he was more comfortable on the bike and barring any more bad luck was ready to battle at the front of the huge Moto2 pack.
Smith's home GP weekend did start as good as it could have with the riders qualifying almost at the back of the grid in 28th. But on a wet track Smith incredibly passed 15 riders in the first lap and continued to move through the pack to a 2nd place finish. At Assen Smith was once again at the front of the pack and at one point led the race finishing 3rd. For the third race in a row Smith once again finished on the podium in Italy following a battle intense battle for the lead. After some misfortune in the first part of the season Bradley Smith has really upped his game and is become a consistent front-runner in the ultra competitive Moto2 class. He is currently on a streak of podium finishes and with his current form it wont be long until the young British lad gets his first Moto2 win. There is a lot of pressure on Smith as the bike mad British fans have been eagerly waiting another British GP Championship winning rider since 1977 when Barry Sheene won the championship and for many Bradley Smith is the most likely GP rider to bring back a Championship to the UK.
Apparel & Accessories |
Support |Contact |