ONE Energy Racing man Bradley Smith has admitted his delight with his performance in today’s season opening FIM Enel MotoE scrap, despite falling just shy of victory.
The Brit, who lined up on the third row of the grid for today’s planned eight-lap race, got a lightning start and just a couple of corners in, he found himself in the lead.
Smith was then embroiled in a race-long battle with eventual winner Niki Tuuli and third place man Mike Di Meglio before red flags were thrown and the race was brought to a halt on lap six after Lorenzo Savadori’s high-speed off.
Smith believes not partaking in the race simulation at the Valencia test a few weeks ago, which he was forced to miss on MotoGP testing duties, put him on the back foot for today’s first round of the series.
But with a second place in the bag, he feels he’s back on level pegging – despite completing the race a few laps early.
“It’s nice to lead the race – it’s been a very, very, very, very long time,” Smith admitted. “It’s a strange way to finish the race after just five laps, but nevertheless it was good fun.
“I got a great start and pushed hard in the beginning. We changed quite a lot of the setting from yesterday to today and it was definitely better because I want half a second faster than in E-Pole in, let’s say, sketchier conditions.
“But it wasn’t enough for Niki, Niki has got something a little bit more. I think the fact I didn’t do the race simulation in Valencia – I lost some knowledge, but I’ve gained it in this one so we’ll be better for the Red Bull Ring.”