Aspar confirms Smith and Simon for 2009 125cc team

Monday, 6 October 2008

Bradley Smith and Julian Simon will ride for Bancaja Aspar in 2009 & 2010, after signing deals with the Spanish squad.

The Bancaja Aspar team, one of the benchmark outfits in the lower cylinder categories, have confirmed the signings of Bradley Smith and Julian Simon for the next two seasons. The Briton and the Spaniard will both ride Aprilia RSA machines as they are expected to push for the World Championship previously won by the team in 2006 (with Alvaro Bautista) and 2007 (with Gabor Talmacsi)

British rider Smith, currently competing for Polaris World on factory machinery, has been a longtime target for Jorge Martinez Aspar. The teenager was close to putting pen to paper for the Spanish team last year, having entered into advanced discussions. Aspar finally gets his man for 2009 and 2010, with the added benefit of a year´s worth of experience with the RSA under Smith´s belt.

Simon will drop down from the 250cc class and change factory from KTM to Aprilia, with the goal of challenging for the title in 125cc. The Aprilia RSA will be the fourth 125cc bike ridden by the Spaniard, whose five-year previous spell in the class took in rides on Honda, Malaguti and KTM machines.

`I am delighted to have signed these two riders for the team, because once again we are shaping a team that can compete for the title in 125cc,´ said rider-turned-Team Principal Aspar.

`Both Julian two years ago and Bradley last year were candidates for the team, and I am satisfied to have picked them up for 2009 and 2010. Julian is a clean rider with a great 2008 behind him, and I am convinced that a factory bike can put him in the fight for the World Championship. Bradley has shown that, despite his age, he could not have adapted better to the RSA. He has been fast all year, and now has the maturity to be World Champion.´

Current Aspar rider and former titlist Gabor Talmacsi will leave the 125cc squad to move up to 250cc at the end of the season. A decision as to whether to run a third 125cc bike in 2009 will be made based on discussions and performance at the final two races of the season.

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