British MotoGP: Bradley Smith relishing Cal Crutchlow match-up

By Lawrence BarrettoBBC Sport at Silverstone
Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith relishing Cal Crutchlow match-up

British Moto2 rider Bradley Smith is relishing the chance to partner countryman Cal Crutchlow at Tech 3 Yamaha in 2013 if the latter re-signs.

Smith, who rides for Tech 3's junior team, signed a two-year deal to make the step up to MotoGP last September.

"It's really exciting to think I could be team-mates because it takes a lot of pressure off me," Smith told BBC Sport.

"He will be in his third season with the team and he knows the bike, he knows how the team works."

"I think I could learn a lot from riding alongside him."

The 21-year-old, who will race the number 38 bike in this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone added: "Having two British riders in the same team will probably bring out some fighting spirit because it's a bit more personal."

Smith was born just down the road from Silverstone in Oxford and has had an impressive motorcycling career to date, narrowly missed out on the 125cc title in 2009 having scored two wins and seven further podiums.

After a strong fourth place finish the following year, he moved to Moto2 in 2011 and scored some impressive rides - including a home podium on his way to seventh in the championship.

However, this year, despite finishing in the points at each of the five races, poor qualifying and straight-line speed has seen him struggle to challenge for a podium.

"We haven't got a winning package so it is frustrating," he said. "Last year, we had a decent bike from the start of the season but then the other teams made a step up and we didn't.

"Then over the winter, we fell back again as our rivals made another step.

"The biggest frustration for me is that I can't be in the world championship hunt the year before moving to MotoGP.

"Finishing sixth or eighth in the championship is less than ideal and I don't want that on my CV. But if I then go to MotoGP and start doing well, I'll get more recognition."

Looking ahead to this weekend's race Smith was realistic about his chances of reaching the podium for the second successive year.

"I'd like my chances of a home podium to be high, but realistically it needs to rain.

"But whatever happens, I'll be pushing 100% and the team will do everything they can to get me up the field.

"If it rains, look out for the number 38."

Full information for British MotoGP on BBC TV

Saturday, 16 June (all times in BST)

1255 -1605 - Red Button: MotoGP Silverstone Qualifying

Sunday, 17 June

1105-1230 - Red Button: Silverstone Moto2

1230-1430 - BBC two + HD: MotoGP: Silverstone

1430-1530 - Red Button: Silverstone Moto 3

Full information for MotoGP on Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra:

Friday, 15 June

0845-1215 - 5 live sports extra: First practice round 6

Sunday, 17 June

0845-1255 - 5 live sports extra: Round 6 MotoGP warm ups and Moto2

1300-1400 - Radio 5 live: British MotoGP