Bradley Smith signs new 125GP deal

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British teenager Bradley Smith will stay in the 125GP world championship in 2010.

The Oxfordshire rider has signed a new deal with the Aspar Aprilia squad having been unable to secure a switch to the Moto2 600cc four-stroke world championship next season.

Smith, who finished second behind team-mate Julian Simon in this year’s 125GP series, will partner Spaniard Nicolas Terol next season.

The 18-year-old made his breakthrough campaign in 2009, winning two races in Jerez and Mugello. He scored six successive podiums at the end of the season and was involved in several thrilling battles with new world champion Simon.

Smith though had made no secret of his desire to move to the Moto2 class next season but despite some scintillating performances, he didn’t receive an official offer from any team.

Aspar signed Simon and current 250GP rider Mike di Meglio while talks with Tech 3 and Gresini came to nothing.

Smith, who became Britain’s most successful rider since the late Barry Sheene, said: “Obviously my goal from that very first race will be to go one better and win that world championship. It will not be easy because you don’t chase it but earn a world title by winning races and the 125 class always produces the unexpected.

“Somebody like Pol Espargaro or Marc Marquez will emerge from the pack and become a title contender but after this fantastic end to the season for me I’ll start the year with real confidence.

“I’m really happy to be staying with such a brilliant team as Aspar, which can only get better for me. Nico Terol may be my new team-mate but he will push me really hard as he did this year.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt