British 125GP world championship hopeful Bradley Smith believes the influence of mentor and former Moto GP star Randy Mamola will be crucial ahead of his 2009 campaign.
The Aspar Aprilia rider has spent large spells of his winter holed up at Mamola’s Barcelona home to train ahead of his fourth assault on the 125GP world crown.
And the 18-year-old has told MCN how Mamola has helped him take a more relaxed approach to his racing as he prepares for the first round in Qatar this weekend as one of the big pre-season favourites.
Smith’s early years in road racing were spent under the tutelage of tough task master Alberto Puig, who helped nurture the likes of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.
But having worked closely with Mamola to prepare for a season where he hopes to finally break his victory duck, Smith told MCN: “Having Randy around he’s a very mellow person when it comes to the mental side of racing.
“He always gives me his opinion and that is very honest. He’s always got a different way of looking at things.
Also being around his son Dakota and seeing how he goes about racing, he goes to have fun. Sure when he sits on the start line he is 100 per cent focused, but around the paddock he is all chilled out.
“That just shows me that when you put your visor down, within those couple of seconds you’re in race mode. But when you take the helmet off you need to take it off and put everything to one side.
“It has definitely helped a lot just having a different point of view rather just full on attack.
“It has helped me see the bigger picture. So hopefully I’ll be a little bit faster and little bit more chilled out.”
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