Smith boosted by Espargaro arrival for next year's MotoGP season

Bradley Smith expects a closer fight with new MotoGP team-mate Pol Espargaro will help lift his game in 2014

Smith boosted by Espargaro arrival for next year's MotoGP season

Smith spent his rookie season in the premier class alongside Cal Crutchlow, who already had two seasons of experience with Tech 3 to draw upon and therefore comfortably outpaced his younger team-mate.

That dynamic will change in 2014 however, with Crutchlow departing to the works Ducati squad and Smith being partnered with Espargaro, graduating to the premier class after winning the Moto2 title last year.

Smith says his anticipated fight with Espargaro, coupled with the fact he will be the team's senior rider, will be a boost next year.

"In your second year you have to step up to the plate - I've been well aware of that for a long time," Smith said.

"It's nice to have Pol inside the garage; it's extra focus ready for 2014 and having someone as fast as him helps an awful lot.

"I think we can push each other really well.

"It's good; it squeezes out a final few tenths."

Asked whether partnering Crutchlow helped during his rookie season, Smith said: "In terms of performance I wouldn't say too much [but] in terms of pressure it was huge.

"The way he is inside the garage and the way he is with the team creates such a positive atmosphere - he really took away all the limelight and put it on himself, with all of the podiums and the good results.

"From that respect, it didn't matter what I did, which really allowed me to concentrate on myself without any added distractions.

"I'm not sure you can ever shut up all of the critics, but I like to think I changed a few people's points of view [in 2013]."

Smith added that he was not hoping to emulate Crutchlow's return of four podiums next year, but was focused instead on beating his satellite rivals.

Asked about his 2014 targets, Smith said: "It's not what Cal did, as he obviously finished on the podium and did a lot of great things this year.

"It's probably a step back from that: to battle with [Honda satellite riders Alvaro] Bautista and [Stefan] Bradl.

"In some races I plan to get the better of them, which they will also do with me at times."

shares
comments
MotoGP announces 2014 entry list, Mike di Meglio gets deal

Previous article

MotoGP announces 2014 entry list, Mike di Meglio gets deal

Next article

Rossi says first races of 2014 will decide if he retires from MotoGP

Rossi says first races of 2014 will decide if he retires from MotoGP
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Aleix Espargaro , Pol Espargaro , Bradley Smith
Teams AB Motoracing
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021