Australia MotoGP: Bradley Smith’s 125GP title hopes finish

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Bradley Smith saw his slim hopes of pulling off an unlikely 125GP world championship triumph ended in Australia.

The 18-year-old needed to finish in front of Aspar Aprilia team-mate Julian Simon for the title chase to continue into next weekend’s Malaysia GP at the Sepang circuit.

The Oxfordshire rider looked on course to keep his remote chances alive with a brilliant performance as he broke away with Simon from a frantic early fight.

But he succumbed to a bold braking move by Simon at MG Corner on the final lap to finish second, the Spaniard’s fifth win of 2009 securing him a maiden world title.

Smith said: “My plan was to beat Julian. I knew from the beginning that I had to be as far ahead as possible if I was to break free, and both he and myself had fantastic pace.

“He was faster in T2 and I was quicker in T1, and in the middle we were more or less equal. It was a good battle, although in the end I am a bit disappointed that the title has been decided.

“The mathematical chance spurs you on. The race was a lot of fun, and even though we have been fighting for the title the team have been great the entire weekend in their support of me.

“All that is left to do now is congratulate Julian.”

Simon was relieved to have wrapped up the title with two rounds to spare, his cause helped massively by Smith’s costly crashes in the Sachsenring and Donington Park earlier in the campaign.

He said: “What I most want to do now is be with my team and enjoy this moment of happiness.

“What I felt upon crossing the line was frankly unexplainable -it was beautiful. The first thing that came into my head was the gratitude that I have towards the team, because their hard work has been the key to this title. When I signed the contract last year it was like taking a step back, as if I had never been able to be a frontrunner and that I was dropping back down. This year I got the opportunity to show my experience and quality. I want to thank Jorge and Gino for giving me a chance, as both they and my manager were behind me all the way. I think that this was the most risk-free and intelligent race that I have had all season. I was patient this time around, having learnt from the error in Estoril. Here the race is dictated by slipstreaming, but I was able to avoid this when I broke free with Bradley. I saw my opening on the last lap and I knew that it would be difficult to win, but I was able to negate the draft and get the win.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt