Moto GP

Moto GP comes to Silverstone this month. Top Brit rider Bradley Smith talks through the bike that keeps him alive at 330kph...

Tyres : There’s actually no rubber in these tyres, they’re made from chemicals that react with the tarmac. Each set costs about `1,00,88 and we use about eight sets over a race weekend. When I’m leaning through a corner, the contact patch that the tyre has with the tarmac is the size of a 50p coin.

Dashboard : There’s not much info on the dashboard. I don’t have a speedometer but I have gear info, RPM, lap times and temperature. You only get one chance each lap to look at it.

Helmet : Your helmet is the only way to identify yourself. I’ve worked with an artist for several years and have gone through about 20 designs – I don’t plan on changing it any time soon.

Leathers : There’s only 4mm of leather that separates my skin from the tarmac, yet I slide along at 100mph and can get back up relatively unscathed.

Seat : I’m actually only sitting on a straight, which at most tracks is about 2% of the time. At Silverstone, where it’s so fast, it’s about 5% of the race – it’s definitely my favourite track.

Brake discs : There’s 1,000-degree heat in carbon brake discs, and they’re 340mm thick. When you’re two feet away from someone else who’s also doing 360kph, you need to know you can stop. A standard brake disc would be destroyed in less than one lap.

Sensors : My bike has over 100 sensors, monitoring everything from throttle to brake pressures.

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