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Toseland and Smith express mutual appreciation

Toseland and Smith express mutual appreciation

Although separated by ten years in age, and hailing from the very different English cities of Sheffield and Oxford, MotoGP newcomer James Toseland and 125cc factory rider Bradley Smith nonetheless share the common goal of giving Britain a creditable representation in 2008.

Although separated by ten years in age, and hailing from the very different English cities of Sheffield and Oxford, MotoGP newcomer James Toseland and 125cc factory rider Bradley Smith nonetheless share the common goal of giving Britain a creditable representation in 2008.

Both riders have switched machinery for the coming season. Two-time superbike champion Toseland undertook tests in Sepang and Jerez onboard his 800cc Yamaha M1, whilst Smith was on-track at the latter circuit a week previous to his countryman for his first ride with the Polaris World Aprilia.

First impressions have been positive for the duo who, despite only having had the briefest of encounters with each other, have a mutual respect sure to grow over the course of the season.

"I met James for at the BBC Sports Personality of the year where he did brilliantly," said the 2006 125cc Rookie of the Year when asked about the latest British premier class hope.

"It's great to have a British rider in the MotoGP Championship and I'm sure he will do really well. Winning two superbike titles is tough and he knows what to expect when he joins the likes of Stoner, Pedrosa and Rossi next year. It's important he does well for everybody connected with British motorcycle racing"

Ever the gentleman, Toseland returned the praise, having watched Smith blossom into a rider capable of podium finishes in the lower cylinder category over the past two seasons.

"I've followed Bradley's career and he seems a really good kid," noted the Yorkshireman. "He's young, he's got a lot of time ahead of him and should hopefully work his way up through 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP. His bike for next year looks good and I'm looking forward to getting to know him and watching his progress next year."

The twosome both have another factor in common, namely their stepping away from Honda bikes. For Smith, the switch could provide him with the necessary horsepower to push his way up into 125cc title contention.

"I can't wait to test the Polaris World Aprilia again after that first ride at Jerez. The bike is different to the Honda and it's vital I can get in as much testing as possible before that first race in Qatar. It looks like being a fantastic 125 cc season but I want to be able to chase podium positions on the Aprilia and that's my initial aim."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008

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