New to here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Strong Aspar trio ready for Le Mans face off

Strong Aspar trio ready for Le Mans face off

All three Bancaja Aspar riders have podium aspirations in France.

After a bitter-sweet Gran Premio de España for Bancaja Aspar, where home rider Julián Simón crashed out early on before Bradley Smith and Sergio Gadea completed a memorable one-two, there are big expectations throughout the team going into round four.

For Englishman Smith, having finally earned his first GP win at the 50th time of asking in Spain, the visit to France is a chance to further boost his championship aspirations as he currently sits second in the standings – just one point behind leader Andrea Iannone.

“I have had a great week since winning at Jerez, letting it all sink in, and this is a major confidence boost for the rest of the season,” commented Smith. “Le Mans is a place where I have had good results in the past, as I got my first podium there when I finished third in 2007 and last year I was second. I know it won’t be easy but I want to try and repeat the result from Jerez.”

The 18 year-old from Oxfordshire continued, “We need to work very hard right from the word go on Friday so that we start the race in good shape and we are ready for another battle. Le Mans is relatively straightforward but finding those last few tenths of a second which make all the difference is quite hard. It’s good though because it equals things out quite a bit in terms of machinery and the riders really make the difference in the races.”

For his team-mate Simón the Grand Prix de France is a chance to make amends for his Spanish mishap and make up ground from fourth place in the general standings. The former Honda and KTM rider revealed, “I’m really up for this one and I want to bounce back from what happened in Jerez. I hope that after Qatar, Japan and Jerez this will be an uncomplicated race, at a circuit that I really enjoy and where I have always gone pretty well. Last year I was in the podium fight there and I think if we get things right in practice we can be very competitive this weekend.

“On a personal level I think I have learned from the Jerez crash,” continued Simón. “So I want to be riding more consistently during races and I want to come away from France with the maximum amount of points possible. Le Mans is a hard braking track and I have to adapt my riding style a little bit there.”

Meanwhile, back on the podium for the first time in over a year in Spain, Gadea, is in a bullish mood himself, and he stated, “Jerez was a superb race for us and a brilliant result. After a performance like that we will arrive in France in an optimistic mood and Le Mans has always been kind to me. I have great memories from the track because I got my first win and my first podium there. I always seem to be able to get set-up quickly and to go fast straight away at this circuit, so I am going for back-to-back podiums and I believe I can fight for the victory.”


Other updates you may be interested in ›