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Home GP preparations for Bradley Smith

Home GP preparations for Bradley Smith

The 125cc rider of the Bancaja Aspar team discusses all manner of aspects ahead of his home race, the AirAsia British Grand Prix at Silverstone, in a special Q&A.

Silverstone is new to the championship calendar - have you ever ridden it before?

Not on the new circuit - I have ridden at Silverstone twice before though, in 2004 and 2005. It will be like my first time here really and as much as I would like to have the advantage of knowing the track, I don't. The circuit is basically the layout they use for the F1, they have just changed one section, which has extended the overall length by a kilometre. I think the racing could be like it was at the old Assen, with groups of riders tucked in together making use of the slipstreams. It is a very fast track but it's not too technical so I suppose the biggest difference in the lap times will be made up by the slipstreams. It will be important to stay focused and not lose touch with the lead group.

What are the standout characteristics of the track as far as you're concerned?

It is incredibly fast and it is usually very windy, so in that respect you could compare it to Philip Island. I suppose the place to make up time will be in the slower corners like Becketts and Maggots, which lead onto the back straight, so there are some technical sections as well as fast ones.

Can you compare it to Donington Park?

I'm sure the atmosphere will be the same at both tracks and the British fans will be giving us their full backing like usual. Donington was different because you had people all the way up the bankings whereas Silverstone is practically flat. The facilities and the location of Silverstone make it a more practical Grand Prix. I think we'll see group races, at least in 125cc and Moto2, which will make for a better show.

What goes through your mind when you see that the British Grand Prix is coming up?

It is normally a busy week for me, with events and press conferences to attend. The most common question of the week is 'can you win?' I always believe I have the potential to win but until you get to the track and get on the bike you never know what your chances are. Racing at your home Grand Prix is an indescribable feeling. We only get one a year so I try to enjoy it to the maximum. Last year I qualified on pole position, which was fantastic, so this year the goal is to try and win. Hearing the national anthem at Silverstone would be a dream so I hope it comes true this Sunday.

Define your home Grand Prix in three words.

Fantastic, exciting and emotional.

Whatever time in the year the Grand Prix is held it always seems to rain in England.

Unfortunately rain and the British Grand Prix seem to go hand in hand so you're not wrong there. The problem is that even though it might be sunny one day there are no guarantees it will be the same tomorrow, but I think that forms part of the charm. Having said that I'll be praying for good weather this weekend!

What are you hoping for from your debut at Silverstone?

To put on a good show and be fighting for the win, to produce my best form and give the British fans something to shout about. By the end of the weekend I would like people to be saying 'Wow! Did you see how good Bradley was today?' It won't be easy but I'll be doing all I can.

Do you think your riding style will suit the circuit?

Yeah, of course. The circuit isn't as technical as I would like and I think the lap times will be close. There are a few sections where you can make up time but it's not like Mugello, for example, where if you lose your concentration at any point you can lose a lot of time. The good thing is it's a new track so everybody will be starting from the same point on Friday.

So which circuit is best suited to your style?

Anywhere where you need to ride smoothly - places where you have to pick the best line through each corner, like Mugello, Indianapolis or Philip Island. I think Silverstone will suit me more than some other riders so I hope it works to my advantage.

It was great to see you back to your best last time out…

Yeah it is much more fun, I'm smiling again! Everything is working out better and that allows me to concentrate more. We're competitive again and as a result I'm enjoying riding, which is fundamental in this game.

Press release courtesy of Bancaja Aspar team

125cc, 2010, AIRASIA BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Bradley Smith, Bancaja Aspar Team

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