Bancaja Aspar’s Bradley Smith earned his first ever win on the 50th time of asking at Jerez on Sunday, in spectacular style at round three.
Normally not a great starter Smith got away brilliantly, taking the holeshot and immediately building up a good lead at the front. By the midway point in the race the 18 year-old from England had given himself an 18 second advantage, riding a lonely race to eventually cross the line 13 seconds ahead of the chasing pack for his maiden GP triumph.
There was heartbreak for poleman and home rider Julián Simón who suffered a nasty highside on lap five when running in second place and was unable to remount much to the disappointment of the massive Spanish crowd.
Before Simón’s mishap, an accident on the first lap for series leader Andrea Iannone (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A) meant Smith went unchallenged en route to victory, the Briton closing to within one point of Iannone in the standings. The Italian got back on to complete the race in 19th place.
Behind Smith there was a superb race-long battle for the podium with his team-mate Sergio Gadea eventually edging out Marc Márquez (Red Bull KTM) by just 0.029s to make it a great day for the Spanish team and for those two Spanish riders in front of the home fans.
The top five comprised only British and Spanish names in fact as Scott Redding (Blusens Aprilia) and Efrén Vázquez (Derbi Racing Team) crossed the line fractionally behind Gadea and Márquez.
The top ten was completed by Sandro Cortese (Ajo Interwetten), Pol Espargaró (Derbi Racing Team), Danny Webb (Degraaf Grand Prix), Dominique Aegerter (Ajo Interwetten) and Nico Terol (Jack & Jones) - who all finished within six seconds of Gadea.
A special mention must go to Jonas Folger (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A) who came from 35th on grid to fight for the podium in the final stages, only to crash on the penultimate lap.