Portugal 2015 Kyle finishes 6th

Smith sixth in Portuguese Supersport encounter.

Pata Honda’s Kyle Smith finished sixth in today’s seventh-round World Supersport championship race at Portimao in Portugal with France’s Jules Cluzel taking victory.

After qualifying fourth fastest, Smith was confident that cooler temperatures for today’s 18-lap race would give him a better feeling in the front of his Pata Honda CBR600RR. Indeed, the 23-year-old British rider enjoyed a great start and was second into the first corner at the 4.592km Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.

However, Smith was unable to maintain his early pace and slipped back, eventually settling into sixth place behind fellow Honda riders PJ Jacobsen and Gino Rea for 10 points at the flag, maintaining his sixth place in the points table.

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Kyle Smith  – 6th
After crashing in the last two races, finishing here is positive and sixth place will have to do this time. We were undecided between two tyres and went for the one that we knew would allow me to go a bit quicker but we weren’t sure it would hold out for the whole race. For the first eight laps it felt good but after that the grip dropped massively. On corner exit it was spinning up a bit, but that was OK. On corner entry it just felt like the rear wanted to overtake me so I had to brake really gently and I dropped back to sixth. It’s not what we were hoping for but we’ll take the positives from finishing the race. I think we still have the potential to be in a better position than we’ve been in this weekend, but we just have to dial everything in.
Pieter Breddels  – technical co-ordinator
Kyle got a good start and then he settled into fourth place for a while. Unfortunately, in the second half of the race the rear grip dropped as it usually does, but he suffered from a lack of rear grip on corner entry and in the end he got sixth. We’ll have to check, but this indicates that the balance of the bike on used tyres may not have been perfect. It’s an OK result even though when you’re in fourth place you’re hoping for third and not sixth. Maybe a better balance would have helped but we had a solid finish which we’ll learn from and take that to the next round.
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