Oxford MailMOTORSPORT: Track form inspires Smith in pursuit of an Italian job (From Oxford Mail)

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MOTORSPORT: Track form inspires Smith in pursuit of an Italian job

Oxford Mail: Bradley Smith signs autographs for the fans as the paddock girls look on Bradley Smith signs autographs for the fans as the paddock girls look on

Bradley Smith is hoping his solid record at Mugello will stand him in good stead for the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM tomorrow.

The 23-year-old MotoGP star, from Forest Hill, near Oxford, won at the track from pole position in 2009 when riding in the 125cc class.

He was also third in 2011 on the Tech3 Moto2 bike, and his fourth-place finish the following year was his best result of the season.

In his first year in MotoGP in 2013, he finished ninth as Jorge Lorenzo claimed victory.

Smith, who is ninth in the championship standings for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team behind leader Marc Marquez, will be looking to step up on his tenth-placed finish in France last time out.

He said: “After a tricky race at Le Mans I am ready and excited for Mugello which is one of my favourite tracks.

“I really like the nature of the circuit plus Yamaha is the most successful MotoGP manufacturer at this track, so we must feel confident.

“The crowd is always amazing, also the track is fantastic so I am ready to fight for success.”

Smith’s weekend got off to a slippery start with a minor downpour of rain leading to him sitting out second practice.

He was expecting to improve on his time in first practice, which saw finish tenth with a best lap of 1min 49.03secs – just over a second off the pace set by Marquez.

Smith said: “I am pretty happy with how things went this morning, and we have definitely improved a lot with certain aspects of the bike since Le Mans.”

No bye for Oxford United in JPT

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

6:00pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

OXFORD United will be in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round draw next month after missing out on a bye.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES: It's Rivers of gold for Dan

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Shooter Dan Rivers said it was an amazing feeling to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal at Glasgow 2014.

Appleton's closing in on striker for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Michael Appleton says Oxford United are “super close” to signing a striker to boost a side which lacked a cutting edge in a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves last night.

FOOTBALL: City beaten at Ardley

Oxford Mail: Callum Convey scored Ardley United's winner in their 1-0 success at Ascot United on Tuesday

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Oxford City slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Ardley United in their penultimate friendly before the new season gets under way.

RACING: Longsdon's double bid

Oxford Mail: Charlie Longsdon

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon is double-handed in the thetote.com Galway Plate (5.30) at the Irish track today with Vulcanite and Grandads Horse.

RACING: Charlie in action again

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Charlie Wells, the horse trained by Eve Johnson Houghton at Blewbury, near Didcot, who tested positive for morphine, runs in the 7.15 at Ffos Las tomorrow.

AUNT SALLY: Title race thrown open as Six Bells falter

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Wednesday 30th July 2014

THE battle for the Premier Section crown is alive after leaders Six Bells C lost for the second match in succession, writes ANDY BEAL.

CRICKET: Ayaz's nine-wicket blitz crushes Minster

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Cowley Internationals’ bowler Ayaz Khan nearly took all ten for a second time when he bagged a nine-wicket haul in their 65 win at Minster Lovell in OCA League Division 1.

Commonwealth Games: Watson aiming to lift crown

Oxford Mail: Ben Watson just missed out on a place in 2010

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

BEN Watson will look to convert his English title into a Commonwealth Games medal tonight.

Commonwealth Games: England pays price for lack of finishing power

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

HANNAH England admitted she did not have enough finishing speed after fading to seventh place in the 1500m final last night.

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