Smith hopes to have found pace solution

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

This weekend’s Monster Energy Grand Prix de France will provide the Bancaja Aspar rider with the opportunity to prove he is back on the trail for the Championship title.

Bradley Smith is anticipating a strong weekend at Le Mans after working hard in the almost three weeks since the Spanish GP. The British rider has struggled with the set-up of his 125cc Aprilia machine in the opening two rounds, but believes his team has now found the solution to the problem that has so far hindered him.

"The last two weeks have been very important for me because we have had time to analyse why we haven't been as fast as we would like in the first two races,” said Smith, who still stands fourth in the Championship in spite of the issues. “We pretty much have it under control now and myself and the team have worked out how we can get back to the same pace as last season.”

Smith has twice been on the podium at the French circuit in recent years, and last season placed fourth on his way to the runner-up spot in the Championship.

“I am very much looking forward to getting to work at Le Mans, which is a circuit that suits my style and holds good memories, including two podiums and the fastest lap of the race last year,” said the teenager. “It is an English-style circuit - narrow with lots of corners - so we will have to work hard on the set-up of the bike to make sure we're ready. Despite the problems we've had in the first two rounds I am still fourth in the Championship so now is the time to wake up and close the gap to the guys at the front."

Smith will be looking to close up the 24-point gap to team-mate Nico Terol at the top of the standings, and the Spaniard is also eager to get out on track in France and further extend his advantage.

"Le Mans is a circuit I like quite a lot and I remember last year I crashed out of the lead twice in the wet, only to finish in ninth place,” he said. “It was definitely my best ever wet-weather performance last season. We have started the season well and that just gives me great motivation to get to the track and work hard straight away.”

“I know I can be fast at Le Mans and be running at the front again so I don't want to waste the opportunity. It is a great feeling to be leading the Championship and so far it is giving me a lot of calmness and motivation, to just keep working in the same way with the whole team."

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