Bradley Smith reckons engine performance tweaks have significantly improved his Aspar Aprilia 125GP machine after a successful test in Estoril this week. His Spanish team... Bradley Smith happy with engine performance tweaks

Bradley Smith reckons engine performance tweaks have significantly improved his Aspar Aprilia 125GP machine after a successful test in Estoril this week.

His Spanish team ran different engine configurations during the Portugal test as the British teenager ended fourth quickest overall.

And despite finishing a massive 1.3s adrift of dominant Aspar Aprilia team-mate Julian Simon, Smith was satisfied with his own display with just five days of testing remaining before the first race in Qatar on April 12.

Smith enjoyed his best world championship campaign in 2008 with four podium finishes.

“I was able to consistently ride in the 46s and I was happy with the work I was doing with the bike. It was another 160 laps on another completely different circuit and I think testing in Estoril was necessary.

“We normally always ride in Valencia and Jerez and you can get into a bit of a rut and you don’t end up trying too much. We improved the engine a lot in Estoril. The team has been working very hard since the first couple of tests and they came up with some new configurations. The engine was really on song and felt really powerful. The acceleration was much better.

“I was able to come out of corners and the bike felt much pokier and it seemed to drive really hard and that is really important in 125s. It’s more important that top speed. Acceleration and mid-range is where you need to work and we made another big step. The moment you get on the throttle it powers through the rpm and picks up a lot quicker with a lot more power.”

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