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Schoolboy Bradley Smith to compete in 125cc World Championship

Schoolboy Bradley Smith to compete in 125cc World Championship

Schoolboy Bradley Smith to compete in 125cc World Championship

Fifteen-year-old Oxfordshire Schoolboy Motorcycle racer Bradley Smith has been given the chance of a lifetime. This year the Garsington-based teenager will compete in the 125cc World Championship series that has already produced World Champions Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Marco Melandri.

His place in the Championship was announced in Spain last Friday following impressive results at the end of last season, in which as a 14 year-old Smith won the final three rounds of the CEV Spanish 125cc Championship. Riding for the MotoGP Academy team, Smith finished second overall in the very competitive Spanish Championship. Earlier in the season, he also won the Oulton Park round of the British Championship.

"It's all happened so fast but I will take it in my stride and not get carried away and will face the challenge with an open mind," revealed the teenager, while on route to Spain for a medical the weekend before starting two days of testing at the Circuit De Catalunya in Barcelona. "I can't wait for the test to start and this will be a massive learning year for me and it will almost be like going back to step one."

Smith, who only took up road racing after breaking his leg in a moto-cross accident a couple of years ago, has been placed in a top Honda team for his World Championship debut. He is the single rider in the team backed by Spanish oil giants Repsol and managed by Alberto Puig. The former grand prix star founded the MotoGP Academy and also masterminded Spaniard Dani Pedrosa's three world titles. This year 250cc World Champion Pedrosa makes his debut in the MotoGP class.

The 16 round 125cc World Championship visits four continents and 14 separate countries including China, Qatar, Turkey, Malaysia, Australia and Japan, in seven months of frenzied activity and world travel.

The schedule means Smith will miss plenty of lessons at his school in Wheatley, who have given their full blessing to his round the world adventure.

"I got my predicted grades at School this year and I've told them I aim to keep up that standard while I'm away," explained the schoolboy, who makes his Grand Prix debut on March 26th at Jerez in Spain before an anticipated weekend crowd approaching 200,000 spectators and millions of television viewers world-wide. "School have told me they are happy for me to go and do it although I don't think they fully understand everything about it."

Picture: Bradley Smith (right) shakes hands on his World Championship deal with Raul Jara, the Director of the MotoGP Academy in Barcelona last Friday.

125cc, 2006, Bradley Smith, Stefan Bradl

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