Motorcycling: Racing with Rossi no problem for the 145mph schoolboy
Thursday 16 March 2006
The Oxfordshire schoolboy Bradley Smith claimed yesterday that he would not be fazed when he races on the same track as the seven times world motorcycle champion, Valentino Rossi, in 10 days' time.
Smith, 15, will make his debut in the 125cc class on a factory Repsol Honda at the opening round of the MotoGP Championship in Jerez, Spain.
Rossi will set about winning his eighth world title on his Camel Yamaha in the big race for 990cc, 215mph bikes. But Smith would be happy with a single point for 15th place when he rides his 145mph machine. "It's going to be great to race in the same series as Rossi in front of 125,000 people,'' he said at the British launch of the MotoGP championship in London.
"But I'm there to do my job. Obviously I will hear the noise of the fans through my helmet when we line up on the grid, but once the race starts I'll get tunnel vision and I'll only be aware of the rider in front.''
Smith was selected to handle the Honda from hundreds of rivals by the Spanish motorcycle legend Alberto Puig.
Bradley's father, Alan, a courier company manager, said Puig had selected his son because he had not yet developed bad riding habits. "Puig says that Bradley is like clay and not a vase,'' Alan Smith said. "There's plenty of time to mould him into a better rider.''
Smith has surprisingly mature ambitions. "Everyone in racing says he wants to be world champion,'' he said. "But if you set a big target for yourself and you don't get there, you fall flat on your face.
"So I'm not predicting where I will finish in the championship points table. I just want to set my bike up properly for the Jerez race, improve my lap times and see what I can do.''
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Only 132 pubs in the United Kingdom will show the fight - so where can you watch it?
Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao by a unanimous points decision - but Pacquiao thinks he should have won, saying 'he did nothing'
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...