Barely a month now away from the beginning of his 2010 motorcycling season, leading British star Bradley Smith can scarcely contain his enthusiasm and eagerness to get back down to the serious business of competition once again – and he vows that this time around, he feels altogether more confident, composed and complete as a rider, leaving him ready and prepared to attack right from the word 'go' in Qatar.
Smith's 125cc World Championship challenge will begin at the Losail International Circuit on 11 April, and after finishing as runner-up in the title chase last year to Bancaja Aspar Aprilia team-mate Julián Simón, twelve months on the Oxford-born teenager makes it palpably clear that there can only be one goal.
Key to achieving that, he well recognises, will be the successful eradication of the kinds of errors that cost him dear in 2009 in races like those on home turf at Donington Park and at Germany's Sachsenring, but contending that he feels much more the all-round package approaching the forthcoming season – and with the added bonus of continuity in both team and bike – Smith told Crash.net Radio
that he quite truthfully cannot wait to get started.
“I can't wait,” the 19-year-old enthused, “and the more I think about it the more deprived I feel of bikes right now! I definitely have withdrawal symptoms from the adrenaline and from bike racing, so I'm doing as much as I can to get that buzz back!
“[Continuity] is always a big thing; to have the chance to ride with the Aspar team is a huge privilege, and to be able to feed off of their experience and their knowledge is something that will only help me. Last year, Julian won the championship and I was second – and the idea is for me to be first and Nico (Nicolás Terol – team-mate) to be second this year. We are very much a team outfit; we go racing as a team and make sure that everything is the best for the sponsors, which I think in this climate is definitely something that doesn't go unnoticed.
“I'm a lot more confident in myself, a lot more confident in the bike and a lot more confident in the team. My training programme is going really, really well, and as a person my profile is raised and the results have got better. From, let's say, a crasher of 2008 and finishing sixth in the season and kind of underachieving with some poles and no wins, I managed to get two last year with nine podiums. That definitely does a lot for my confidence, and a lot for my state of mind.
“Touchwood, last year we didn't have any mechanical breakdowns – the mistakes were down to me. Hopefully, my mechanics will keep up their 100 per cent dedication and faultlessness, and after that it's just down to me to do the rest. I've just got to iron out the creases, make sure I'm flawless and make sure I'm right there. Roll on Qatar now and the first race, and we'll start our season from round one!”
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