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

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

First published in Sport

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.”

RUGBY UNION: Welsh form must come first for Tongan Taione

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

TAIONE Vea says he can’t let playing in the World Cup with Tonga distract him from London Welsh’s Aviva Premiership challenge.

CRICKET: Brown set for Uganda trip

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts chairman John Brown is gearing up for a cricketing charity trip to Uganda.

CRICKET: Freeman is rewarded for courage

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Banbury's Amy Freeman has won the CMJ Spirit of Cricket Girls’ Award.

RACING: Young charges have Hill excited about the future

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

With a fresh intake of young horses, Lawney Hill is hoping her Aston Rowant stables will continue to flourish as the jumps season prepares to move up a notch.

RACING: Eve hearing date is set

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

A British Horseracing Authority hearing into the positive morphine test provided by Charlie Wells, from Eve Johnson Houghton’s Blewbury stables, near Didcot, will take place on October 16.

SWIMMING: Blue Fins’ Wynne-Jones is top of UK rankings

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

LOTTIE Wynne-Jones starred as Bicester Blue Fins competed in the final gala of the Milton Keynes & District Junior League for the first time at Oxford’s Temple Cowley Pool.

Oxford duo Hylton and Howard set to receive green light

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Top scorer Danny Hylton and Brian Howard are expected to have recovered from midweek knocks to start for Oxford United today.

ICE HOCKEY: Clarke is a doubt for Stars clash

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

CAPTAIN James Clarke is an injury doubt for Oxford City Stars’ home clash with Wightlink Raiders in South Division 1 tomorrow (6.15).

GYMNASTICS: Goodall's happy with seventh on GB debut

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

TUMBLER Ben Goodall finished a highly-respectable seventh on his debut competing for Great Britain.

GOLF: Pepperell off the pace

Oxford Mail: Eddie Pepperell

7:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Oxfordshire's Eddie Pepperell slipped off the pace after a three-over-par second round in the at the ISPS Handa Wales Open.

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