We chat to 125cc GP Rider Bradley Smith

125cc Title challenger Bradley Smith speaks to Visordown about the upcoming British GP


VISORDOWN: Do you Brits hang out in the paddock together?

Bradley Smith: I don’t mix with anybody, I’m quite an independent person in the paddock.

VISORDOWN: Is there much rivalry between the three Brits?

BS: No I don’t think so, obviously I’m the oldest [of the three of us] so really I’m the one that needs to be producing. I’m the one with the most experience so I need to be the one winning. For those guys their objective is to beat me but for the moment my objective is to win races and be world champion and I think the best way to do that is to keep 100% focused 100% of the time.

VISORDOWN: How much pressure do you feel from the home crowd and all your supporters here?

BS: Pressure? Not so much, expectation quite a bit. You want to win races, you want to be there to show everybody how good you really are. You want everyone to shout and scream, you want to give a thank you really to all the support throughout the year. This is probably the best situation I’ve been in going into a Donington race, with a likelihood of being able to win.

VISORDOWN: So it’s more expectation that you can produce on the day?

BS: Yeah and the expectation of myself. I expect to come back this weekend and start the ball rolling to play catch up. There’s no better way to do that than to win, but I’ve got to start taking points back from [Julian] Simon.

VISORDOWN: What do you think of the new Moto2 class?

BS: I think it’s going to be fantastic. I think the first year’s going to be a little bit tricky because there’ll be chassis that work, chassis that don’t, some circuits where one bikes going to work and another where a different bike is going to work so it’s going to be a tricky situation to make the right decision. You get quite a few offers, and its going to be sitting down and making the best decision and take the best offer from the team with the best structure. You don’t want to settle yourself into a team and find the chassis doesn’t work and they don’t have the budget to develop another one because that could possibly be the end. Aspar have a great structure here in 125’s, so I can’t see why that would be any different in Moto2, which is my best option at the moment.

VISORDOWN: Will you be stepping up to Moto2 next year?

BS: Yeah without a doubt.

VISORDOWN: Would you prefer it to be two-stroke 250’s, or do you think turning to four strokes would help the leap up to MotoGP afterwards?

BS: I think a 250 is the most fun bike at the moment, I don’t think at the moment the way it is with ‘two tier’ bikes - with one guy having one bike and one guy having another with a huge difference - is quite fair, so Moto2 will equal that out, and it looks like we need to go four stroke as it’s the way of the world at the moment. Evolution happens, it’s going to be new for everybody which is probably the best.

VISORDOWN: Do you still aim to get into MotoGP, or is World Superbikes, with the quality and depth of the field, now the pinnacle of bike racing?

BS: I think MotoGP is still the elite class, the one everyone wants to be in. Ask anybody from WSB – you look at Ben Spies, he wants to come to MotoGP but he wants to be on a competitive bike. The best riders in the world are in MotoGP but unfortunately, the racing at the moment, because of the budgets for the teams, there are no parameters for teams to do what they want to do. I think if Dorna pulled the reins in a little bit and somebody actually made a few more rules and regulations they could close the racing up so it would be like a 125 race.

VISORDOWN: How hard was it for you as a young British rider to make it on to the world stage?

BS: Very, and I was very fortunate. Me, Danny [Webb] and Scott [Redding] all came through the MotoGP academy which was backed by Dorna which had Alberto Puig, Juan Martinez – guys that have worked in grand prix all looking after us. I knew that was the only break we were going to get. If we rode in England and won the British championship we would never have got to MotoGP. We were all very fortunate to be part of that project, and that’s what’s got us where we are at the moment.

Catch the British GP from Donington Park this Sunday, where all three Brits will be battling for victory in front of a packed home crowd. Oh, and there’s the small matter of a MotoGP race too, as Lorenzo and Rossi once again go head to head at Donington’s swansong (for the next few years at least) as a motorcycle grand prix venue.



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