BRADLEY SMITH: Silverstone setback only makes me more determined

My Silverstone race was ruined by a cracked rear wheel

My Silverstone race was ruined by a cracked rear wheel

First published in Sport

OUR next stop is at Misano on the Adriatic coast of Italy, which is the perfect venue for the sun to shine and my Sunday curse to finish.

After the agony of my cracked rear wheel at Silverstone last weekend – a one in a million chance of happening – the support I received from the Silverstone crowd when I got back out and then crossed the finishing line just hit me.

Those fans are amazing and make all us British riders so determined to succeed.

When my luck finally changes, I’m going to repay the faith they have shown in me.

As you can imagine, I was distraught when I realised something was seriously wrong after a great start to the MotoGP race, but the reception I received just makes me and the team totally determined to thank-you and we will.

After around three laps, all of a sudden the rear tyre started to move around a bit.

I thought it was just a slight drop in grip because of warmer conditions in a race situation.

It just got worse, but I kept fighting as much as I could.

Once teammate Pol Espargaro and the train came past me, I tried to hang onto the back of them.

Then I had a massive moment when I almost disappeared over the handlebars.

My head ruled over my heart and told me to call it a day and get into the pits.

I was desperate to get back out there, so I kept the Yamaha outside the garage in pit lane and got the team to put in a new rear wheel and carried on.

We have made a huge step forward running with a full fuel load and I made a great start.

I passed Brno winner Dani Pedrosa and I was able to stop the bike well, which is the first time since I’ve ridden in MotoGP.

The work we’d done at Brno was a huge help and I did my fastest lap of the race on my first flying lap – something I’ve never been able to do.

I’ve always struggled in those early laps and everything was teed up for a perfect race because we’d turned round some of those weaknesses and my race pace was good.

It was a one in a million chance that a rear wheel cracks during a race.

It was our best set of wheels because in a race we put in the very best equipment possible.

I honestly don’t know what to say because we’ve had too many one in a millions this season.

Maybe it’s time to switch back to the right-hand side of the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha garage, because the left side is not doing me too many favours.

There are no tubes in the tyres and a crack in the wheel means the air will start to escape from the sealed tyre.

We run around 1.8 BAR pressure in a race and, by the time I got back to the pits, it was 0.6.

I continued a little too long on that tyre for safety reasons, but I’m there to finish races and wanted to thanks the crowd for that truly amazing support. I was not ready just to pack up.

We, as a team, have to take it because we can’t control these things.

We had worked on our weaknesses and had everything set for a really solid race and at least a sixth position.

Something was missing, and that was luck.

We still have six grands prix, a third of the season, to come and we have nothing to lose.

Forget championship positions, it’s a case of fighting for fifth place every race.

We are doing so many great things, but the Sunday curse continues.

Once it lifts – and it will – we will be right on track.

The Silverstone experience was great because of the truly unbelievable support I get from the fans, the team and the sponsors.

The crowd were amazing and, while we may not be getting the British podium finishes we’ve had in the last couple of years, they are 100 per cent behind us all.

Our luck will change.

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