Bradley Smith admitted he was happy but also a little tentative after a gruelling first day of official 2013 MotoGP testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. The 22-year-old from Beckley completed 56 laps of the three-and-a-half mile circuit in humid conditions on the 200mph Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.
It was the first time the three-times 125cc grand prix winner had come up against the likes of world champions Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, and he finished a creditable 12th fastest after a long, hard day. “It was really good day, but my head is still spinning getting to grips with a MotoGP bike and all that goes with learning about tyres, traction control and just riding a bike that is so fast,” admitted Smith.
His only previous experience on a MotoGP bike was a few damp laps at Valencia in Spain in November.
“The team kept it as simple as possible and actually took some power away because it was so fast,” he added. “This first test is all about learning to ride the bike and gaining in confidence. “It was like completing a jigsaw every lap, sorting out a different riding style, the Bridgestone tyres and traction control, but I will learn a great deal more in the next two days because I’m still a bit tentative.”
Dani Pedrosa led the way from world champion Jorge Lorenzo, with Smith’s old sparring partner, Marc Marquez, third. Testing continues for the next two days, with the first grand prix of the season eight weeks away.