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Podium fight satisfies Smith

The Bancaja Aspar rider may have missed out on a top-three finish at Le Mans, but he was extremely pleased with the improved performance of his Aprilia machine in round three.

Bradley Smith felt a vast improvement on board his Aprilia over the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France weekend, and was delighted with the step up in the level of performance of his machine.

The British rider had struggled with the power on his 125cc bike in the opening two rounds but at Le Mans Smith was able to fight for a podium spot, eventually finishing in fifth position.

"I am pretty happy with the Aprilia's performance, as I had a great feeling of total control and was able to enjoy myself like a kid right up where we should be,” explained Smith who rode in third position throughout the race until the final lap, when a small mistake allowed Marc Márquez and Efrén Vázquez through.

“It's a shame to have finished fifth after leading the trailing group for nearly the whole race,” he continued. “I was able to ride fast and comfortably, but the only difficulty was finding race pace. When I did, I was able to keep it up right until the end.”

“Today I could see if I was able to be more aggressive when necessary and, although today it didn't work out, I was able to do that at least. It was a disappointing end to a great race, but I'm happy with how we performed after a difficult weekend."

Smith’s Bancaja Aspar team-mate Nico Terol maintained his lead at the top of the Championship standings as he finished second, but saw his advantage cut to two points by rival Pol Espargaró who won a thrilling battle between the pair.

"I knew from the way that the weekend had been going that I had a great pace, so my goal was to start quickly and break away,” said Terol. “I was giving it everything in the middle of the race, but Pol stuck with me. I wanted to let him pass with eight laps remaining in order to attack later, but my tyres were in a bad way and it wasn't possible, and I tried to make a move with two laps remaining but entered too wide. When you ride at the limit these things happen, but I am happy with the result and with the work done by my team."

The pair will be aiming high at the next round at Mugello, where Smith won the race from pole position last season and Terol finished second behind him.

Tags:
125cc, 2010, Bradley Smith, Nicolas Terol, Bancaja Aspar Team

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