Looking Back At 2013 - Rating The Riders: 10th, Bradley Smith, 8/10

In the final chapter of our series running down the top ten finishers of the 2013 MotoGP season, we come to Bradley Smith. Here's a look at how his first year in the premier class went. To read the rest of our reviews of last year, you can read part 1, Marc Marquez; part 2, Jorge Lorenzo; part 3, Dani Pedrosa; part 4, Valentino Rossi; part 5, Cal Crutchlow; part 6, Alvaro Bautistapart 7, Stefan Bradl; part 8, Andrea Dovizioso; and part 9, Nicky Hayden.

Bradley Smith Monster Tech 3 Yamaha
Championship position: 10th
Score: 8/10

Pity poor Bradley Smith. The young Englishman came in to MotoGP as a rookie, and did exactly what he was supposed to do: learn slowly, not crash too much, see his times and results improve gradually throughout the season. In any other year, Smith would have received quiet praise for the steady job he did.

But this was not any other year. This was the year that Marc Marquez moved up to MotoGP, destroying records and utterly redefining what is expected of a rookie. While Smith was steadily improving to go from finishing in the top ten to ending in the top six, Marquez was amassing podiums, wins, and well on his way to taking the title at the first attempt. Smith found himself being compared to the phenomenon that was Marquez, rather than the more realistic comparison with the rookie seasons of other MotoGP riders.

Take Marquez out of the equation - an almost impossible exercise, admittedly - and Smith looks a lot better. Map Smith's season against that of Stefan Bradl in 2012, and the Englishman's performance looks much better. Smith finished his year with 116 points, while Bradl took 135 in his first year. Bradl's point tally was boosted a little by Casey Stoner's absence through injury, and the dismal season Ben Spies had on the factory Yamaha. Smith finished more races in his rookie year than Bradl did, but when he did crash, he badly injured his hand, fracturing his wrist and destroying his little finger.

Smith's biggest challenge was changing his style around completely. He had to unlearn the habits picked up in Moto2, of pushing hard, braking late, throwing the bike around. Instead, he had to concentrate on being smooth, braking earlier, releasing the brakes earlier, and relaxing. The more he learned to relax, he would tell reporters, the faster he would go. However, trying to relax and be smooth is one of the hardest things to do on a 260hp motorcycle capable of of 350 km/h with a body full of adrenaline.

Smith spent the first half of the season just getting to grips with the bike. In the second half, things improved, Smith's intelligence shining through, his ability to analyze problems a great asset for the team. Sometimes, that meant one step forward and two steps back, such as at Brno, where Smith was excellent throughout practice, only to find himself crashing out of the race. But by the end of the season, Smith proved himself capable of matching the pace of the satellite Hondas, finally shaking off his season-long battles with the Ducatis.

Smith spent 2013 riding the bike raced by Jorge Lorenzo in 2012, receiving few updates during the year. That is the fate of a satellite rider, and he accepted it with good grace. In 2014, Smith will have the same equipment as his teammate Pol Espargaro, and have support very close to factory level. Then we will see what his potential truly is.

High point:

If the middle part of Bradley Smith's season was a little frustrating, it ended on a much more positive note. Smith rode confidently, his understanding of the bike greatly improved, as well as his ability to set it up and get it to do what he wanted. There was not really a single moment in Smith's season you can point to and say, that was his best moment. But the upward momentum and real forward progress gave him the boost he was chasing.

Low point:

The first part of the season would be tough for Bradley Smith. The inevitable (and slightly unfair) comparisons with Marc Marquez meant he faced a lot of criticism from his home fans. An ugly crash at Mugello saw him crack his wrist and badly mangle the little finger on his left hand. The skin graft didn't not take particularly well, and then rumors emerged that Smith could be forced out of his contract with Tech 3 to make way for Pol Espargaro and Cal Crutchlow. Once Crutchlow left for Ducati, Smith's seat was safe, but all in all, it was a tough couple of months for the English rookie.

In the final chapter of our series running down the top ten finishers of the 2013 MotoGP season, we come to Bradley Smith. Here's a look at how his first year in the premier class went. To read the rest of our reviews of last year, you can read part 1, Marc Marquez; part 2, Jorge Lorenzo; part 3, Dani Pedrosa; part 4, Valentino Rossi; part 5, Cal Crutchlow; part 6, Alvaro Bautista; part 7, Stefan Bradl; part 8, Andrea Dovizioso; and part 9, Nicky Hayden. Bradley Smith Monster Tech 3 Yamaha Championship position: 10th Score: 8/10 Pity poor Bradley Smith. The young Englishman came in to MotoGP as a rookie, and did exactly what he was supposed to do: learn slowly, not crash too much, see his times and results improve gradually throughout the season. In any other year, Smith would have received quiet praise for the steady job he did.But this was not any other year. This was the year that Marc Marquez moved up to MotoGP, destroying records and utterly redefining what is expected of a rookie. While Smith was steadily improving to go from finishing in the top ten to ending in the top six, Marquez was amassing podiums, wins, and well on his way to taking the title at the first attempt. Smith found himself being compared to the phenomenon that was Marquez, rather than the more realistic comparison with the rookie seasons of other MotoGP riders.

Comments

WHAT?!?!?!?!

DAVID!!!!! HOW ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH CAN YOU GIVE BRADLEY SMITH 8 POINTS AND RANKED 10TH WHEN YOU RANKED BRADL WAYYYYY HIGHER WITH ONLY 7 POINTS?!?!!?! MY HEAD EXPLODED, HOW CAN I TRUST ANYTHING ON THIS SITE NOW?!!?!??!?! WHERE IS YOUR JOUNALISTIC INTEGRITY??!?!?!?! IF I CAN'T TRUST A NUMBERS/RANKING SYSTEM LIKE THIS THEN WTF?!?!?!?! HOW CAN I EXPECT YOU TO EXPLAIN MOVING THE GAS TANK OF THE TECH 3 BIKE OR WHAT ANGLE THE DUCATI'S V IS SET AT?!?!?!?!
NEVER COMING BACK! EVER! TO THINK, I WAS ABOUT TO MAKE A PLAQUE/TROPHY OF YOUR RANKS BUT NOW WHEN PEOPLE SEE IT THEY'LL JUST SAY "WHY IS SMITH BEHIND BAUTISTA?" AND I WON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY!!!!!
LET ME GUESS NEXT YOU'LL RANK ALEIX ESPARGARO 11TH WITH 10/10 POINTS BECAUSE HE DID WELL ON A FAKE BIKE!?!?!?!?! IT'S ALMOST AS IF YOU'RE DOING THESE RANKS NOT BASED OFF WHERE THE RIDERS FINISHED IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP BUT THAT THESE RANKS ARE SUBJECTIVE OR BASED ON YOUR OPINION! THAT'S NOT WHY I COME HERE!!!!!!

:-p

Total votes: 31

It's his rating on the top ten

Mr. Emmet is giving his personal rating on the top ten riders in the championship, in the order they finished in the points tally, not saying who should have finished where.

Total votes: 12

hmmmmm

i figured all my caps lock and egregious use of exclamation and question marks would translate my obviously facetious rant. I have to practice my trolling more i guess...

Total votes: 15

That's exactly how I read it,

That's exactly how I read it, tongue in cheek

Total votes: 9

Nearly right

But Aleix only gets 9/10....

Total votes: 12

where else

but this site can you get such a great review, amusing abuse and an equally funny rebuttal? :-)

I have to give the young Mr Smith some credit for being able to improve under the pressure of his seat being continually being called into question.

Total votes: 14

awww

actually I wouldn't disagree with 10/10! Had a great season. Sorry about the other post, just having some fun, but the last thing this site needs is trolls!
You make a rank system, next thing you know people's heads exploding cause they don't agree? C'mon

Total votes: 6

Bizarre

So Marques, who has perhaps the best rookie season in memory, gets 9/10. Presumably it is not 10 as the rating is on the basis of absolute performance, irrespective of experience. Fair enough.

Then Smith gets 8/10 for perhaps one of the least memorable rookie seasons on memory. (To be fair, entirely consistent with his extremely unremarkable career prior to MotoGP)

The difference really is only one point? In a rational, objective rating? Really?

Smith must have the best manager in MotoGP. The bizarre deal he managed to set up to get Bradley into MotoGP (apparently irrespective of results). Now he has the (normally rational) David Emmett joining his fan club. Wow.

Total votes: 12

rule book

I think that smith would have done better on the Honda. Marques re wrote the rule book not just with results but the way motogp bikes are supposed to be ridden. No smoothness just rung it's neck. Did he alter his style at all? With the Yamaha more or less designed with Lorenzo's super smooth style in mind, I think the Honda would have been easier. But saying that I would love to se marques on the Yamaha to se if it can be ridden with pure aggression!

Total votes: 5

Smiff

Now I hope the idiots that cant follow format are finished a comment on the subject.
Pity Smiff, hells bells, he's the luckiest git on the planet. How the hell he got that ride bemuses me.
He's achieve lets face it nowt in bike racing. He was in the BEST 125 team, his team mate won the championship. Where was he, no where.
Quicker he's off to BSB the better.
There's no was he's with Tech 3 2015

Total votes: 6

Smith 6 & Marquez 10

Smith 6 and Marquez 10
Maybe next yr have 1/2 Pts avail too? Smith 6.5 and Marquez 9.5?
:)

Total votes: 7

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