MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
20 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
26 days
R
Portugal GP
16 Apr
Next event in
40 days
R
Spanish GP
29 Apr
Next event in
53 days
R
French GP
13 May
Next event in
67 days
R
Italian GP
27 May
Next event in
81 days
R
Catalan GP
03 Jun
Next event in
88 days
R
German GP
17 Jun
Next event in
102 days
R
Dutch GP
24 Jun
Next event in
109 days
R
Finnish GP
08 Jul
Next event in
123 days
R
Austrian GP
12 Aug
Next event in
158 days
R
British GP
26 Aug
Next event in
172 days
R
Aragon GP
09 Sep
Next event in
186 days
R
San Marino GP
16 Sep
Next event in
193 days
R
Japanese GP
30 Sep
Next event in
207 days
R
Thailand GP
07 Oct
Next event in
214 days
R
Australian GP
21 Oct
Next event in
228 days
R
Malaysian GP
28 Oct
Next event in
235 days
R
Valencia GP
11 Nov
Next event in
249 days

Smith: Test rider mindset "out the window" for Aprilia races

New Aprilia MotoGP recruit Bradley Smith says his test rider mindset will go "out of the window" when he makes his first wildcard appearance of 2019 in Qatar.

Smith: Test rider mindset "out the window" for Aprilia races

Smith was appointed to spearhead Aprilia's new test team as part of a major shake-up for the 2019 season, with Andrea Iannone being brought in to replace Scott Redding and ex-Ferrari man Massimo Rivola being recruited to take on the responsibility of running the Noale firm's MotoGP operation.

The Briton was present for both end-of-season tests last year at Valencia and Jerez, and ended up taking over Aleix Espargaro's bike for the majority of the latter test after the Spaniard was hit by illness.

Smith is set to make five wildcard appearances this season, and although his exact schedule has yet to be determined he has said he will be on the grid for the Qatar season opener in March.

Asked by Motorsport.com how he planned to balance his test rider responsibilities with a desire to perform in his wildcard outings, Smith insisted he will be "there for myself" on the weekends he races.

"At the end of the day, I’m going to attack every race like I have done before," said Smith, who is also contesting the inaugural MotoE season for SIC Racing on top of his Aprilia commitments.

"The nice thing for me is I’ve ridden all this season, I was there for Valencia at the last race and I’ll be there for the first race with Aprilia. The fact that I’ve been at all the tests also, I’ve not had any time off.

"I’ll be there at the Qatar test preparing for the wildcard. In certain aspects I have to work for the team, but everyone understands that also I’m working for the wildcard.

"When I’m there for the wildcard, I’m there for myself. I’m there to put the Aprilia as far up the grid as I can, which means I’ll only be focusing on me and making this bike as fast as possible.

"The test rider [mindset] goes out of the window until I have to come back to my day job."

Smith added he feels that having a fast test rider present  will help boost the level of the Aprilia's regular race riders Espargaro and Iannone, based on his experience of working with KTM tester Mika Kallio.

KTM even came close to replacing Smith with Kallio towards the end of 2017 based on the Finn's impressive wildcard outings, before finally deciding to honour the remainder of Smith's two-year contract.

"We’ve seen the benefit of having a fast test rider, we’ve seen the bike progress in a better way and we’ve seen a little bit the extra pressure of having a test rider at the track boosting the performance of everybody," said Smith.

"You just have to look at [Michele] Pirro coming in as a test rider [at Ducati] – maybe it doesn’t impact the factory team but certainly it affects all the privateer bikes, they feel they have to step up to the mark as well.

"Manage it in the right way and it has a positive impact on performance."

Bradley Smith, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Bradley Smith, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
MotoGP to retire Hayden's number

Previous article

MotoGP to retire Hayden's number

Next article

New Yamaha MotoGP team reveals livery for debut season

New Yamaha MotoGP team reveals livery for debut season
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Bradley Smith
Teams Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Author Jamie Klein
Why Alex Marquez doesn't care about 'shutting up' MotoGP critics Prime

Why Alex Marquez doesn't care about 'shutting up' MotoGP critics

Alex Marquez's form was one of MotoGP 2020's biggest surprises and, by firmly stepping out of his six-time world champion brother Marc's shadow, he proved a few people wrong. Not that he cares about this, as he tells Lewis Duncan

MotoGP
Feb 20, 2021
How Yamaha's new MotoGP era can unchain Vinales Prime

How Yamaha's new MotoGP era can unchain Vinales

After the electrifying start to his Yamaha MotoGP career in 2017, Maverick Vinales has struggled for consistency. Many anticipate that the arrival of Fabio Quartararo could spell disaster, but the departure of Valentino Rossi could be just the impetus he needs.

MotoGP
Feb 16, 2021
Does KTM really need 'super engine' for MotoGP title challenge? Prime

Does KTM really need 'super engine' for MotoGP title challenge?

Fears from rival MotoGP manufacturers that KTM would build a 'super engine' for 2021 have ultimately come to nothing with the revealation that the RC16 hasn't been radically changed over the winter. But does it really need that to win the title?

MotoGP
Feb 13, 2021
How Ducati's latest Aussie union can return it to MotoGP glory Prime

How Ducati's latest Aussie union can return it to MotoGP glory

Australians on Ducatis is an iconic partnership, the marque's last one yielding its sole MotoGP crown to date. But its latest Aussie union with the often underestimated Jack Miller can end this drought.

MotoGP
Feb 10, 2021
The "balls out" battle between MotoGP's true greats Prime

The "balls out" battle between MotoGP's true greats

Senna vs Prost is regularly cited as motorsport's greatest rivalry. But it can easily be argued Rainey vs Schwantz can stake that claim. That rivalry was in full swing during the 1991 500cc season, remembered fondly by both stars 30 years on...

MotoGP
Jan 19, 2021
The "warrior" MotoGP rookie KTM was right to back Prime

The "warrior" MotoGP rookie KTM was right to back

The 2020 MotoGP campaign featured a standout pair of rookies, but one flew under the radar as he adjusted to a shock step-up armed with very little racing experience. However as his veteran team boss explains, the faith shown in him was not misplaced

MotoGP
Jan 18, 2021
Why Suzuki's Brivio replacement must come from within Prime

Why Suzuki's Brivio replacement must come from within

With its charismatic leader Davide Brivio leaving for Formula 1, the Suzuki MotoGP squad he turned into a world championship-winning force in 2020 has a major recruitment headache that it needs to resolve carefully.

MotoGP
Jan 9, 2021
Why Alpine's latest signing could be its best hope of F1 glory Prime

Why Alpine's latest signing could be its best hope of F1 glory

The return of Fernando Alonso to the renamed Alpine team is a sure sign of the team's ambition. But its latest appointment from MotoGP could be an even bigger coup as it seeks to end a barren run stretching back to Alonso's 2006 world title

Formula 1
Jan 7, 2021