Smith: “We are going in the right direction”

Smith gives his Jerez assessment
Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Bancaja Aspar rider is aiming to step up and challenge at the front after taking fourth place at Jerez.

The start to the 2010 season may have been a tough one for Bradley Smith, but the Bancaja Aspar rider is remaining focused and upbeat after taking what was an encouraging top-four finish in the second round at Jerez.

The 19 year-old has struggled to find a comfortable level on his Aprilia so far but the improvement made between the opening race in Qatar, where he finished eighth, and the Gran Premio bwin de España means he is maintaining a positive outlook.

“I'm motivated after taking 13 points and making steady improvement from session to session. We are very lucky because a lot of riders crashed so we are fortunate to be in this position,” he said. “It is frustrating because I know I can be with the top riders, and also my feeling with the bike now is much better compared to Qatar so I know we’re going in the right direction.”

Smith continued: “I think the main part of our package is the engine. In 125cc you need the fastest bike possible. Our top speed isn’t so bad, but our acceleration at the moment is not so great. We’ll continue to work and hopefully it will get better because I need to start to be at the front. I want to be there fighting and the only way to do this is to be at the front and to be winning races like I know I can.”

The young Brit hopes that the break until the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France on May 23rd will allow his team and he to solve some of the issues he has outlined.

“The good thing is we have two weeks so we have a lot of time before Le Mans. If we find the solution to our problems we can have something that we can fight again for the victory. Le Mans is a track that I like a lot. The team did a fabulous job this weekend to give me confidence, and with this foundation I am sure that we will be where we belong in France."

Smith’s team-mate Nico Terol was more content with his weekend after taking second place in the race. The result, which followed up his win in Qatar, consolidated his early lead at the top of the World Championship standings.

"I am very happy, because we did a perfect job over the course of the weekend,” said the Spaniard. “The race was very tough, from start to finish, but I think that I had a good pace. My strategy consisted of pushing hard at the start and losing the chasing group, and I thought that I would be able to get away if I pushed right at the end as well. However, on the final laps the front tyre was extremely worn down and I nearly crashed on a couple of occasions. It was then that I realised that sticking with second and picking up 20 points would be the most productive option.”

Terol concluded by adding: “I think that I rode a very intelligent race. I've got 20 points more than when I arrived, and I'm still leader of the World Championship."

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