Oxford star Bradley Smith’s first morning as a MotoGP rider on Tuesday turned into something of a damp squib. The 21-year-old from Forest Hill was due to have his first ride on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, but the test never got off the ground because of the cold and wet conditions around the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain.
A frustrated Smith sat it out in his new leathers waiting for the weather to change, but the experienced Tech 3 team would not let him ride the 200mph plus machine for the first time on such a slippery surface.
Smith said: “This morning has been the biggest let-down of my career, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. “When my MotoGP leathers arrived yesterday and I was measured and weighed for the bike, it really hit home what a big day this was. “But this morning has seen the worst conditions possible and as the track was really soaking, the team would let me go out to get a feel of the bike. “Frustrated describes just how I feel on my big day, but my chance will come.”
Nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi did manage a few laps in the morning on his return to Yamaha after his two years at Ducati. Moto2 world champion Marc Marquez, who replaces Casey Stoner on the Repsol Honda, had an equally frustrating morning as Smith, never venturing out.