Bradley Smith talks Aspar Aprilia deal

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Bradley Smith has set his sights on mounting a challenge for the 125GP world championship in 2009 after he clinched a deal to join the Aspar Aprilia squad.

Unable to continue with his Polaris World squad because of funding problems caused by the global credit crunch, Smith is hoping some of the vast experience and winning mentality of the Aspar can rub off on him.

“I wanted to stay where I was, but in the circumstances there was nothing else I could do. Sadly Polaris World can’t continue but the Aspar team is very good with a lot of experience and they have won numerous world championships and numerous races.

"They have that experience of winning and maybe that’s what I need to put in my riding and move onto the next level and win races, “Smith told MCN.

Aspar chased Smith’s signature in 2007 before he turned his back on the former world 125 champion to sign for the Polaris World team.

And he admitted it was incredibly flattering for the interest to continue throughout 2008, with Martinez keeping his pledge to continue his pursuit of the Oxfordshire rider.

Smith, who has claimed three podiums in 2008, said: “I haven’t had the best of seasons with a bit of inconsistency, a bit of crashing and a bit of bad luck. But it is still nice that everybody believes in my potential to go out and win. They still continued to pursue me and that is a great compliment and that is a great boost for me.

"At certain times you do get down and you can start to doubt yourself, but with the interest you know something in you must be good. It was good that Aspar was still waiting for me because with their record there are a lot of riders chasing for that.

"They are the number one team in 125 and 250s with a lot experience and they have good communication with Aprilia and if I want to win the world championship next year then that is the best place for me.

"I have shown throughout this year I’ve got the speed, but we just need to find some consistency. For me it is not a big step from where I am now to winning a race. Once we crack I’m sure they will keep on coming.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt