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Moto2: Kyle Smith feature

“It's a real big, powerful team. I was only in my second year of road racing and I was in one of biggest teams of world with a possibility of racing World Championships if I had a couple of good seasons in the CEV. I was in the perfect situation but I had a bit of pressure and just kept crashing.”

Smith was thrown in at the deep end, riding against riders that have since become grand prix staples, like Luis Salom, Efren Vasquez, and fellow Brit Danny Kent to name but a few.

After only one point scoring ride and a fairly hefty hand injury at the end of the season, the team didn't further their advances. Looking back Smith now acknowledges the opportunity may have come too soon.

“The team treated me like a professional, like I knew how to set the bike up, and they were a good, really experienced team, but I had no clue how to set bikes up. I just came from motocross where we just bashed handlebars and got straight on the gas.

“I think another thing was when we looked on the telemetry they said 'Hector Faubel [Aspar's full time 125 rider in '07] can do this time with this set-up and then I'd go out and crash. You needed to do it step by step.”

It was a difficult moment and a new direction was required. But rather than lose faith in his ability Kyle saw the Spanish Kawasaki Cup as a chance to race competitively for a relatively low cost.

The prize for winning that was a ZX-10 and he then progressed into the Spanish Stock Extreme Championship. It was here that ex-GP rider and WSBK podium man Juan Borja put his full support behind Smith's talent.

“When I first moved to Spain I met my mechanic Alfredo Morant, who was good friends with Juan. Juan had a team in WSS at the time and he wanted me to have a go so Alfredo put me in contact.

“That year [2010] I found my sponsor, Wild Wolff Energy Drink, and they helped out financially, along with Michelin. Every race got better and then the year after, I got a factory Kawasaki ride.”

Borja helped to establish a team set up around him and Smith began to thrive in a more familiar, comfortable setting. The stability allowed him to learn more about bike set up and quick, consistent performances followed.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kyle Smith, Jerez Moto2 Test Feb 2013
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Doughnuts Anyone

February 22, 2013 7:13 PM

Don't no anything about lad or heard of him until this year, but just get the feeling it may turn out the same way as the like of Kev Coghlan, Gino Rea etc. Both done well in respective national championships and then don't get given time or backing to try and build on their first outing on the world stage which is hard as it is. But the master at getting a ride year after year is of course his new teammate Toni Elias but can't see him being a front runner again and can't see Blu sens results being that great this year unless Toni does something around contract time which seems to be his trump card and teams full for it or is it the money his bring with him ?

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