Phillip Island GP: Bradley Smith defies treacherous conditions

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Bradley Smith won his battle against the elements at a cold and wet Phillip Island today, the British rider coping best with atrocious conditions to clock the fastest time in 125GP practice.

The session was delayed for two hours while circuit staff cleared large patches of standing water as the Phillip Island track was battered by heavy rain and a cold wind blowing off the nearby Bass Strait.

When track action finally got underway, the Oxfordshire rider was in brilliant form, a best lap of 1.54.547 easily putting him at the top of the timesheets.

The 19-year-old, who has yet break his victory duck in 2010, posted his best time on his 20th and final lap to beat world championship contender Marc Marquez by a massive 0.925s Derbi rider Marquez logged a best time of 1.55.472 and was the only other rider to lap inside of a second of Smith’s Aspar Aprilia machine.

In stark contrast to the searing heat experienced last week in Malaysia, temperatures struggled to reach ten degrees.

But impressive Danny Kent revelled in the adverse conditions, the 16-year-old looking in inspired form as he rode the Lambretta to a stunning third place.

The Red Bull Rookies runner-up set the third best time with a 1.55.655 leaving him just 0.183s behind Marquez, who has won eight times in 2010 to lead the series by three-points over Nicolas Terol.

Terol was fifth fastest today with fellow title challenger Pol Espargaro down in seventh.

Danny Webb was 13th fastest with a time of 1.58.089 putting him just over 3.5s behind Smith.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt