“It's still good for track experience though. He's someone I can talk to after races and who better to have than an ex Moto 2 World Champion as your team-mate? He's a super nice guy and we get on really well. It should be good fun.”
A lot of his 2012 campaign was hindered somewhat by injury. In June a crash while racing Supermoto fractured a bone in his left shoulder and damaged a tendon. Since then there has been a calcium build-up on the bone, something that is mildly troublesome when attempting to muscle the bike around and change direction.
“The tendon had a bit of damage and there was calcium build up. It's been painful. I had an injection in Barcelona, which was supposed to disintegrate the calcium, and in 4 or 5 days it was good. It felt near to 100%. But just now as I've started training hard it's started coming painful again. I'll have a word with the doctor and see if I need to have surgery.”
It hasn't seemed to hinder him in pre-season testing so far.
Smith ended the opening Valencia test in 25th place, ahead of former world champion Mike di Meglio and grand prix winner Louis Rossi. He felt that he eventually made some progress after two crashes on the opening two days.
“We learnt a lot with the electronics and bike set-up and the times then dropped on the third day. There's still a lot of work to be done but the third day went pretty good.”
And in Jerez this week his wet weather riding was highly impressive, ending one of the damp sessions in 11th. He finished up in 26th, overall one place back of countryman Danny Kent.
A look back to last year's Stock Extreme race in Jerez demonstrates his ability on the damp track as he slid and jostled to a memorable win. Riding in the rain this year is a prospect that excites him.
“I really enjoy it. I always like to ride in the wet, it's always a bit more fun and rider talent comes in a little bit more.”
After the first spate of testing Smith remains pragmatic. Rather than setting unrealistic goals in an unfamiliar environment he plans to see where he is after the dust settles at Qatar, perhaps using his time with Aspar as a reminder to not expect too much too soon.
“I just need to finish races and progress. It's so easy to push and crash, do a few fast laps and crash again. I don't know any tracks outside Spain, even in England. Moto2 is a super tough category so [my aim is] to finish and get experience and hopefully during the few races in Spain I might push a little bit and get some good results.
“I just have to have as much fun as I can, finish races and get experience.”
Look out for Kyle Smith in 2013.