Smith not placing emphasis on test performances

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

One of Bancaja Aspar´s new 125cc signings, Bradley Smith, enjoyed his recent test debut with his new team but will not be worrying about topping the timesheets too much before the start of the 2009 campaign.

Although Bradley Smith was the fastest 125cc participant on the first day of his test debut with Bancaja Aspar in Valencia last week, the young British talent says individual lap times are not the focus of his preparations for the 2009 season.

Speaking to motogp.com this week following the commencement of the 2008-09 winter testing ban the Oxfordshire teenager summarised the test and detailed his latest comings and goings in a brief Q & A session.

Q. `How did you rate your first test with the Aspar team last week?´
A. `It was great to go out there with the new team, to meet everybody and to see the set-up of a very professional, winning team. It was a shame because the weather wasn´t great, quite windy and cold, but the important thing was we were still able to get laps and to test quite a few bits and pieces. Obviously Aspar have a lot of settings and information because they have run Aprilias for such a long time.´

`They have a real wealth of knowledge and have started helping me with a couple of settings which they believe will suit me, so really it was just a matter of changing the geometry of the bike and trying a couple of new tyres that Dunlop had brought with them. We are waiting for the ´09 parts from Aprilia so we were riding with the ´08 bike, just with a couple of new parts that we weren´t able to try during the season.´

Q. `Is it reassuring to get some good tests under your belt with your new team, ahead of what will be an important season for you in 2009?´
A. `To be honest last year I had such a successful set of tests in the pre-season and then I went into the first races and it all changed. Race weekends are really different to tests. So now I am not focusing on lap times or where I am in comparison to the other riders.´

`We have a lot of data from this year and already we are starting to go faster in certain areas with these new settings. I think that sort of work (on settings) is the key this winter, because I´m actually able to work on the bike rather than just getting accustomed to it.´

Q. `What else have you been doing since the season concluded?´
`Actually, earlier this week I went to Barking College where they are opening a new Motorcycle Engineering department as part of their already existing Motor Vehicles department. They asked me to cut the ribbon on their opening day and I have a nice brass plaque on the wall there. I have never done anything like that before and it was quite a surprise just to be asked to do it and it is great to see that side of things.´

`I get a lot of enjoyment from racing motorbikes, but there are also a lot of people who enjoy working on bikes. It is where hopefully future mechanics will come from as well. It is good to see that someone like that is already putting it in place an opportunity for people to become bike mechanics.´

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