Qatar MotoGP: Bradley Smith names 125GP title threats

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Bradley Smith has named Aspar Aprilia team-mate Julian Simon as his biggest threat in the 2009 125GP world championship.

The Spaniard has dominated winter testing and signed off in style last night in Qatar when he topped the timesheets in the final test at the Losail International Circuit.

Smith’s impressive time from the first night though ensured he ended Simon’s golden run at the top of the leaderboard, but the Oxfordshire rider is no doubt where his biggest threat lies in 2009.

“The clear rival is Simon because of his testing pace, “said 18-year-old Smith, who claimed pole position in the Qatar 125GP 13 months ago.

Smith, who claimed four podium finishes last season and is desperate to break his victory duck in 2009, believes there will be four or five riders consistently challenging for wins this season.

He told MCN: “(Sandro) Cortese was always near the front last year. (Andrea) Iannone will have his races where he will be very difficult to beat. He is really fast but sometimes a bit wild. But when it clicks for him he is going to be tough hard to beat.

“Then you have to look at the likes of (Nicolas) Terol, (Marc) Marquez and (Simone) Corsi. There are still at least six guys that will have the chance of battling for the victory.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt