Bradley Smith targets early-season scalps in 2016 MotoGP season

Bradley Smith is targeting upsets in the first part of the MotoGP season, predicting the new electronics and tyres will "change the whole dynamic of the championship"

Bradley Smith targets early-season scalps in 2016 MotoGP season

Bradley Smith is targeting upsets in the first part of the MotoGP season, predicting the new electronics and tyres will "change the whole dynamic of the championship".

A satellite rider has not won a MotoGP race since Toni Elias in the 2006 Portuguese Grand Prix, but the change to new control electronics and switch from Bridgestone to Michelin tyres appears to have opened the door.

While Tech 3 Yamaha rider Smith knows it will not stay open long, with the factory squads to benefit from rapid development, he is targeting opportunities early in the season, which starts this weekend in Qatar.

"Originally we can look for that, for maybe the first five races or so," he told Autosport.

"But then after that, MotoGP will develop and factory teams are going to develop.

"Yamaha are going bring new things for Valentino [Rossi] and new things for Jorge [Lorenzo], and you don't need to give those guys any an advantage to be able to pull away.

"I expect for us to maybe mix it up in those first five or so races.

"That's going to be my target, to try to hit that as hard as I can and show that I can run with those top factory boys.

"And if developments come, I just have to accept that I have to wait my turn and see if they filter down to me."

Smith was the top satellite rider in 2015, beating Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso to sixth in the championship and recording his second career podium at Misano.

He knows that counts for little, though, as he looks to repeat the feat, following a pre-season he said had been "frustrating" at times.

"I'm coming off of the high of 2015, but I believe with an electronics change and a tyre change, that is going to change the whole dynamic of the championship," he said.

"You can't really take any previous races or performances into account, it's going to be a fresh start.

"I'm quite excited from that point of view."

"I still want to be the top satellite rider, and put on a good performance, bearing in mind that if you are a satellite rider, your engine developments and things like that aren't going to come quite as quickly.

"But I'm happy with my performance from last year, and looking to put myself in a solid sixth to eighth position again this season, and have another crack at being top satellite rider."

The MotoGP season gets under way on March 20 in Qatar. You can watch all the race action throughout the season exclusively live on BT Sport, the home of MotoGP in the UK. Click here for more information on BT Sport

shares
comments
MotoGP aces could fall down order in 2016, Honda's Marquez warns

Previous article

MotoGP aces could fall down order in 2016, Honda's Marquez warns

Next article

Wayne Gardner tips Ducati to surprise in 2016 MotoGP season

Wayne Gardner tips Ducati to surprise in 2016 MotoGP season
Load comments
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Plus

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Plus

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the circuit's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge Plus

How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge

The 2020 MotoGP season was an utterly enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if thought it the world championship was a poorer place without its biggest star Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021