Motegi MotoGP: Bradley Smith confident in podium challenge

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British teenager Bradley Smith is confident he can mount a podium challenge in this weekend’s Japanese 125GP at the Twin Ring Motegi.

The Aspar Aprilia rider had to settle for fifth place in the season opener in Qatar earlier this month, which was cut short to just four laps because of rain in the desert.

Smith had qualified on the front row and looked good to kick off 2009 with a top three finish, but the 18-year-old reckons he can produce a podium assault in the Far East on Sunday.

The Oxfordshire rider said: “I really like Motegi and I know I can be fast there. I had the best result of my rookie season there and was the highest-placed Honda.

“I’ve had a bit of bad luck there over the past couple of seasons but with the way this year is going I’m sure we can do well.

“My intention is to pick up as many points as possible and make the most of racing at a circuit I love. The first race was far too short so we’re all fired up for this one.

“I’m sure we’ll be running at the front so let’s see if we can finish on the podium in the second race.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt