Smith’s BMW rider Peter Hickman ended day one at Snetterton feeling happy – but admits he and the team still have work to do to find the solution to an on-going braking problem.
The TT favourite ended today’s second free practice third quickest with a best lap of 1’49.228s, but is still keen to sort out the niggling problem which has plagued him all season so far.
“It’s been a decent enough first day but we’ve still got this inherent issue which we are struggling with, which is I can’t stop the bike properly,” he revealed. “Especially in the really hard-breaking zones, we just don’t slow down enough fast enough.
“When I’m by myself I can do the lap times fine, the problem is when we’re in the race so qualifying for us is key.
“If we’re ever in a group we get baulked and we get bullied a lot because we really can’t brake when everyone else does. We’re trying lots of things to try and help that but it’s not an easy thing to solve, believe it or not.
“We’re getting there bit by bit and just trying little things and sometimes it’s the smallest things that can make the biggest difference. We’re halfway through the year and we’ve still not actually been testing with it, all I’ve done is race it.
“We could do with a few weeks to just go somewhere and go round and round and work out what works and what doesn’t.”
Braking issues aside, Hickman believes his fast start could put him in a good place for the remainder of the weekend, and hopes an overnight change could be the key.
“I’m happy enough, the first day here at Snetterton has been good. It rained right at the end of that second session so we could’ve been faster or we could’ve been further down the field, who knows, it could go either way.
“At the minute all my laps have been quite competitive and quite strong so we’ll have to wait and see happens. We’ve got something new to try tomorrow so we’ll see what happens.”