Valencia MotoGP: Lowly 13th for Bradley Smith

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Bradley Smith was a lowly 13th fastest in 125GP practice this afternoon as the final race of 2009 kicked off at a sunny but windy Valencia circuit.

Having secured second place in the world championship with a brilliant run of five successive podium finishes, Smith’s hopes of a strong finish to a fantastic season suffered a surprise early blow.

The Aspar Aprilia rider was only 13h fastest at the end of an opening free practice session dominated by newly-crowned 125GP world champion Julian Simon.

The Spaniard logged a best time of 1.42.536 to finish 0.193s clear of Nicolas Terol, who will replace Simon in the Aspar Aprilia squad next season.

German Michael Schrotter sprang a major surprise when he logged the third best time with a lap of 1.42.747 to edge out Sergio Gadea in fourth by 0.178s.

Smith though was uncharacteristically outside of the top ten, the 18-year-old’s best time of 1.43.792 leaving him trailing Simon by a massive 1.256s.

A further three places down the order was Blusens Aprilia rider Scott Redding. The 16-year-old posted a best time of 1.43.941 to finish less than two-tenths away from Smith.

Danny Webb had a tough session as he rides through the pain of a broken bone in his left foot that he suffered in a first lap crash in Sepang last month.

The Kent rider posted a best time of 1.44.705 to finish over two seconds off the fastest pace.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt