Bradley Smith out to capture 2012 Moto2 title for Tech3
Bradley Smith has set his sights on winning the Moto2 title this year before making the move to MotoGP.
And he wants to make the step up to the premier class as reigning champion in the 600cc category.
He told BBC Sport: "It's my last season in Moto2 so I've got to prove my worth and win races to prove that I earned my MotoGP contract."
Smith will take part in a three-day test in Valencia from Wednesday as he sets eyes on his bike for the first time since November.
The Oxford-born rider picked up three podiums in his debut season last year - including a second-placed finish at Silverstone - but is confident of ending his wait for a win in the new campaign.
"I've not been on my bike since the end of November. I got to try the first version of the 2012 bike then, I was really happy with it and we managed to find half a second per lap over the 2011 bike straight away," he said.
"There have obviously been more changes to it since I last saw it so I'm hoping that it will be even faster. If we can find another small gain then we will be set for the new season.
BRADLEY SMITH PROFILE
- Born: 28 November 1990
- Birthplace: Oxford
- Riding debut: 2006 Spanish Grand Prix
- Career highlights: Nine 125cc pole positions, three 125cc wins, 2009 125cc runner-up, three Moto2 podiums
"A lot of the bikes who were at the top last year are developed as much as they can be and I think those teams will struggle to be any faster. But we feel we have a lot of room for improvement.
"After running third for most of the championship last year I know I can compete at the top and we've improved over the winter.
"I know my job and know what I've got to do. I want to prove a point. There will be some riders who don't think I deserve my MotoGP deal, but I do and I will prove it.
"I have no reason to doubt that I will be winning races this year. I have beaten all the riders on a consistent basis.
"This is the start of a three-year project, Moto2 is my aim for this year and I will be giving it my all to win the title."
The first round of the new season will take place in Qatar on 8 April.