China MotoGP: Bradley Smith talks third pole position

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British teenager Bradley Smith is confident he will be in the fight for victory in tomorrow’s Chinese 125GP after he claimed a third pole position in four races today.

The Polaris World Aprilia rider clocked a best time of 2:12.364 to edge out Nicolas Terol by just 0.028secs as he slashed close to a second off his best time set yesterday.

Smith, who has only one finish in his first three races, is desperate to claw back some points in tomorrow’s 19-lap race and he said: “This is the third pole out of four, but it would be nice to finish on top when it really counts and when you get the points.

“I’m happy that we’ve been able to bounce back after a tough weekend in Estoril. We had a tough qualifying and the race was going well, but still we weren’t perfect. Obviously I crashed out so we ended up getting no points.

“Which was two zeros after what happened in Qatar as well. We’ve got six races in eight weekends, so this is the important time for us to turn it around.

“And we’ve made some changes with the bike that has really helped up and I’ve got a much better feeling now than I had like two weeks ago in Estoril. So hopefully we can go in this way and get some points back.”

Bradley Smith said he was much happier with the overall performance of his Aprilia machine after his mechanics made a weight distribution change to help ease some of the rear grip problems that have hindered the 17-year-old recently.

“I’ve been asking for more rear traction and they’ve given me that. Don’t ask me what they have done but I’ve got more weight on the rear,” said Smith, whose only finish of 2008 so far was a third place in Jerez.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt