MotoGP: Rain hampers Bradley Smith's Aprilia debut

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Poor weather in Jerez has severely disrupted Bradley Smith’s factory Aprilia debut. 

The British rider didn’t complete a single lap yesterday on the second day of a three-day 125 and 250GP test session at the Spanish circuit as he tries to get in crucial early laps on the Polaris World Aprilia.

Bradley Smith made his debut on the bike after his switch from the Repsol Honda squad on Monday, and posted the fourth fastest time in a 56-lap stint, despite a late crash at the end of the first day.

His best time of 1.48.730 was a second faster than his 2007 best race lap with Honda and was less than a second slower than newly crowned world champion Gabor Talmacsi.

The 16-year-old said: “The power of the machine is awesome and very different to the bike I’ve been riding this year. It’s a case of finding out as much as I can about the bike and just finding my way.

“The crash at the fast second right hand bend at the back of the pits came late in the session and I just scraped my arm and hand. The new team have been fantastic and are really interested in what I have to say when I come in.

“We have already gelled very well and I’m so pleased to be working with them and despite the crash, I’m very confident about the future tests.”

Bradley Smith finished 10th in this year’s 125GP world championship, with his breakthrough coming in Le Mans when he became the youngest British rider in history to claim a podium finished when he grabbed third in France.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt