Rossi backs Brit teen

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Seven-times world champion Valentino Rossi has backed British teenager Bradley Smith to make a big impact in his second year on the world stage in 2007.

Rossi praised the MotoGP Academy graduate last season when he claimed the coveted Rookie of the Year prize in the world 125 championship.

Riding for the Repsol Honda squad under the guidance of renowned talent spotter Alberto Puig, who unearthed talents like Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elias, Smith has emerged as one of the Britain’s brightest young prospects in years.

And Italian Rossi has backed him for future success by saying: “He is a good rider and this is an important year for him because the debut year in the world championship is very difficult. But he worked in a good way and got some good results. It is very important for the UK to have a top level rider and maybe he is the one.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt