MotoGP: Bradley Smith confirms factory Aprilia 125GP deal

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Bradley Smith has confirmed he will ride for the Polaris World Aprilia squad in the 2008 MotoGP world 125 championship.

As was revealed by MCN earlier this month, the 16-year-old officially signed a contract yesterday (Tuesday) to replace Italian Mattia Pasini, who is moving up to the 250GP class next season.

Bradley Smith’s Repsol Honda squad, who he has spent his first two seasons with in the world MotoGP 125 championship, reluctantly released Smith after on-going delays over a deal between mentor Alberto Puig and KTM.

Bradley Smith has been earmarked as one of the brightest young British prospects in years and he made his major breakthrough earlier this season when he claimed his first MotoGP podium with third place in Le Mans.

That made him the youngest British rider in history to score a world championship podium.

Bradley Smith said:” I’m very proud to have been made such a brilliant offer and already I’m looking forward to next season.

“To compete on a slightly more competitive machine with the support of such a professional team will be fantastic.”

Two other British riders will be alongside Bradley Smith next year.

Danny Webb will retain his seat in the Dutch-based Molenaar Honda squad, though the team is close to finalising a deal to lease a factory kitted Aprilia for 2008.

Danny Webb told MCN in Sepang last weekend: “I’m going to sign for the team again in Valencia so at least I get another crack at it. I got offered a ride after the Japanese MotoGP and I said I’m happy to sign it.”

Bradley Smith’s deal comes hot on the heels of Scott Redding’s confirmation that he will move to the 125 class with the BQR Blusens Aprilia squad.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt