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Simon predicts three-pronged Aspar title assault

Simon predicts three-pronged Aspar title assault

Spaniard cites team-mates Smith and Gadea as rivals for 125cc World Championship.

Dropping back down to 125cc for the 2009 season after a positive conclusion to his final 250cc campaign, Spaniard Julian Simon has immediately been cited as one of the favourites for the lower cylinder category title. The Aspar team rider certainly has the pedigree and machinery –the powerful Aprilia RSA- in his favour upon his return to the class, but acknowledges that he faces stiff competition for the crown.

Simon has two tough rivals close at hand, as part of a team which also lines up Bradley Smith and Sergio Gadea in an Anglo-Spanish triumvirate. Both consistently fast in 2008, Simon predicts a run for his money from his teammates this year.

`They are two riders who will definitely be at the front end of the races, but for me this is a positive reference point. If there is a tough moment for me during the season, then I can use them as my focus to see what can be done with the same bike,´ says the Spaniard.

`They will be my rivals, but there will be positive motivation for all of us and we should be united. Then we will see the team taking the top places all the time. It will be positive for everyone.´

Simon´s previous stint in 125cc saw him lining up against some of the current MotoGP stars, with a solitary win to his name from the 2005 season. Having competed in the closely-contested 250cc series since then, the 21 year-old feels that he has an edge on the new generation of 125cc riders.

`I started out riding against people like Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Lucio Cecchinello, in what was a really tough class. I hope to put into practice all the things that I learnt against these young riders, who will definitely put up a fight,´ he continues.

Not that Simon will have it easy simply due to having ridden bigger bikes over the past few seasons; in fact, the move back down to 125cc will provide him with plenty of challenges, as he himself notes.

`I think that it is much harder to go down than to step up a category. I´m used to wider tyres, a bigger contact patch and braking harder into the corners. You have to ride more carefully to get the bike to go where you want it in 125cc.´

125cc, 2008, Julian Simon, Bancaja Aspar Team

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