The Hertz UK Moto GP had a particularly strong media presence this year. Partly
because of the emergence of the sport, and partly due to the rise of some promising new British
riders such as Bradley Smith.
Smith is still only 22 years old, and joins the likes of Cal Crutchlow as UK riders can begin to
dream of building a national superbike profile similar to that enjoyed by Spain. Of course there’s a
long way to go before the British Moto GP riders can really challenge the likes of
Marquez, Pedrosa and Lorenzo, but at least UK riders are beginning to form a presence in the sport.
Smith has had a series of ninth place finishes so far this season, and has even rose as high as sixth at
the German Grand Prix and the Gran Premi Aperol De Catalunya.
At the most recent Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Smith finished a respectable ninth place
once again, and claimed that he may have made the wrong tyre choice by opting for a softer
rear tyre for enhanced grip. If the weather had gone his way the race may have been a whole lot
different, but at least the young British rider seems like he’s building some decent consistency.
Bradley Smith currently sits a respectable eleventh in the championship standings and captured the headlines at the Italian Grand Prix after a horrific finger injury. A ninth place finish at Mugello had fans of the sport admiring Smith’s spirit in the face of adversity, in a trade where the threat of injury is ever present. Just take a look at Dani Pedrosa’s list of injuries and see how fraught with danger Moto GP can be: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dani_Pedrosa#Injuries.
If Smith is to sustain a decent challenge this season he needs to break more regularly into the top
6, from which a reputation as a real top rider might grow. Crutchlow is currently the most prized
British rider and has just signed a lucrative deal with Ducati, but Crutchlow is five
years Smith’s senior and there’s every chance the younger rider could emulate and even surpass his
Yamaha Tech 3 counterpart.
We’ve just completed the twelfth race of an eighteen race season and it would be realistic for Smith
to claim tenth position in the rider’s championship. He currently sits just two points behind Aleix
Espargaro, and to break the top ten would be a sizeable achievement.