BRADLEY SMITH: We're heading in the right direction

I sit back and take it all in on a weekend of many positives in Holland

I sit back and take it all in on a weekend of many positives in Holland

First published in Sport

I came home with eighth place from Assen, which was not exactly what we wanted, but there were so many positives I’m not going to worry about it.

We took a big step forward at the Barcelona test and in Holland last weekend I showed my pace in practice on Thursday, lost my way a bit on Friday, but re-grouped well on Sunday.

I flew out of Assen en route to Goodwood feeling so much happier than the last two grands prix.

We had a good weekend and I’m just so pleased the speed was there. I can’t be too disappointed to have the third fastest lap time behind Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, but quicker than Valentino Rossi.

It was my mistake not to come in and change to slicks on lap six, but I went on the judgement of Jorge Lorenzo when he did not pit and stayed out there.

I lost nine seconds because of that decision on the drying track and that was what kept me out of the top five.

I am a little bit frustrated because of that – we struggled on the rain tyres, but we had the pace on the slicks.

Riding a MotoGP bike is tough enough in the rain, let alone having to pay attention to the track conditions.

I was so busy spinning and head-shaking down the straights that I forgot to check the track to find out just when it was best to come in.

My Andorra neighbour, Broc Parkes, made the best call and came in to change at the end of the first lap which saw him make a big jump up the field.

I’ll learn from it and will keep my eyes and ears open a bit more next time we meet that scenario.

I must give credit to the teams, riders and mechanics for what they did on Saturday, because that was tough.

We all had a dry bike, then wet bike, then dry bike and then almost wet bike again. When you take into account we needed slick tyres, then wet weather tyres and had a flag to flag race, it certainly pushed everybody to the limit.

My boys did a great job in the changeover of bikes and making the right call for the slick tyres with the slightly harder compound on the front.

We improved when we swapped bikes compared to the last time we did it in Phillip Island, Australia last year. There we lost around three seconds where here we actually gained time.

The weekend did not start well when my mechanic Steve Blackburn fractured his pelvis is a cycling accident on Wednesday afternoon.

It was just one of those things when his front tyre overlapped my rear tyre as we cycled round the Assen track.

Steve went down pretty hard and broke his pelvis in two places.

The guy turned up on Saturday for the race on his crutches and gave us some great support sitting from the sidelines.

We could have certainly done with his hands, but hopefully he will recover quickly and be back alongside us at the Sachsenring.

In Germany, we get some extra practice to test out a new configuration to the fast right-hander at the top of the hill that has caught out so many riders on cold tyres.

We will get an extra 20 minutes to see if we like the change with a view to altering it in 2015 on safety grounds.

Bridgestone are also going to bring an asymmetric front tyre to help, which will make it very interesting.

We will arrive at the next round in the Sachsenring in good spirits, but please, please no repeat of Assen.

I don’t mind riding in the wet, but this flag to flag stuff produces too many situations for things to go wrong.

So can it just be wet or dry please.

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