Smith waiting for podium chance

Now that his Tech3 Yamaha future has been secured, Bradley Smith has set his sights on a podium finish this campaign while he is also determined to hold off the two factory bikes behind him.

Smith and the Tech3 Yamaha team confirmed on Tuesday that the 24-year-old has signed a new one-year deal that will keep him at the French-based squad next season.

The announcement didn't really come as a surprise as the Briton has impressed this year and finds himself fifth in the standings, ahead of the likes of Andrea Dovizioso from Ducati and Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa.

He admits it will be a big bonus if he stays ahead of the factory riders, but his main goal is to be in the hunt for a podium spot.

"Obviously I want to finish the season strong and try and hold off the two factory bikes that are behind me," he told the official MotoGP website. "I think it will be very difficult, but the target at the beginning of the season was to finish seventh.

"So I am fifth at the moment, if I end up seventh I was on target, anything more that that is a bonus.

"We just have to wait for that chance to fight for the podium. Last year there were quite a few flag to flag races, and we have seen Cal on the podium this year in Argentina. So we know it is possible. I am just waiting for my opportunity for that, and I have to make sure I am in the right place when that opportunity comes about!"

Next up is his home race, the British MotoGP at Silverstone, and he admits it would be a dream to finish on the podium there, but he is realistic.

"It certainly would be nice to do that for the home crowd!!! I am realist though, and it’s not a realistic objective for this weekend," he said. "I know that Yamaha go well around Silverstone, and that Bridgestone are bringing some slighter different tyres too.

"I feel optimistic that this will work well for the Yamaha. We have to bear in mind that Silverstone is a very fast and flowing racetrack, so the Ducati’s with their horsepower and speed will be strong.

"Honda, we know that they are always going to be strong so it’s certainly not going to be a clean sweep for Yamaha."