2010 125cc World Championship favourite Bradley Smith has confessed that the thought of realising a lifelong dream by triumphing in the British Grand Prix this year and hearing his national anthem ring out on home turf as he stands proudly atop the podium leaves him feeling all 'goose-pimply' – as he predicts that Silverstone can not only match but indeed surpass the spectacle of predecessor Donington Park.
In four British Grand Prix starts in 125cc to-date, the Oxfordshire ace has taken the chequered flag no higher than seventh, with Repsol Honda back in 2007 – storming to a popular pole position last season only to crash out shortly after the re-start whilst battling Marc Márquez for the lead in treacherous conditions, opening the door for Bancaja Aspar Aprilia team-mate and chief title rival Julián Simón to inherit the victory.
The Spaniard then went on to dominate the second half of the campaign and lift the riders' laurels – but twelve months on, Smith is determined that it will be he
who is lapping up the plaudits in front of his adoring partisan supporters come Sunday afternoon at Silverstone in mid-June.
“I've dreamt about it a lot of times, winning my home grand prix,” he admitted, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio
. “Last year I thought I was going to come close. Hearing the national anthem in England with all the crowd behind you would be very special; it makes you goose-pimply just thinking about it.
“It's got to be one of my objectives for this year. The British Grand Prix always attracts a lot of attention to the British riders, but you just have to try to balance that out as much as possible and make sure you're going to be 100 per cent focussed on race day.”
Of course, with long-time host Donington having found itself supplanted as the event's home by Silverstone for the first time since 1986, all of the riders will need to get used to a new layout – the presently under-construction Arena Grand Prix circuit – this year. If many of them are concerned that the Leicestershire venue's unique atmosphere and element of fun and entertainment will be lost somewhere along the way, Smith suggests they will be proven wrong.
“Just seeing the amount of effort that the guys are putting into it and the work that's already going on makes it really, really exciting,” the 19-year-old enthused of the revamp taking place at the celebrated 'Home of British Motor Racing'. “The facilities at Silverstone are second-to-none, and the programme that they're putting together for a grand prix really makes me happy as I know I can tell all my friends and my family to come here for the MotoGP, and they'll have a great weekend.
“Both tracks have their positives. Donington had Craner Curves, it had the undulations, it had the fast, sweeping corners, it had the slow ones at the end and it always produced great racing. Silverstone is going to be one of the longest and one of the fastest circuits of the season, which brings excitement in its own way. We don't have the undulations here, but then we have the other things to make up for it. Donington was always a great venue and always put on great racing – and I think Silverstone can match that, if not do better.”TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW IN FULL: CLICK HERE