While the grid in MotoGP is all but settled, in the junior classes everything is still wide open. A few key pieces are falling into place, but the grid still remains far from certain.
One major piece slotted into place today, though: Bradley Smith signed a new one-year deal with his Bancaja Aspar team, making him the odds-on favorite for the 2010 125cc title. His championship assault will be no cakewalk, however, as Aspar announced at the same time that Nico Terol, the man who finished in 3rd behind Smith, had also been contracted to ride alongside smith.
Smith's current team mate and 2009 125cc World Champion Julian Simon will be moving up to the new Moto2 class. Simon will feature alongside Mike di Meglio, the French rider who partnered Alvaro Bautista so impressively in the 250cc class this year. Both men will be riding an Aprilia-badged Moto2 bike for the Mapfre Aspar team next season.
Smith was close to a Moto2 deal, with Fausto Gresini very interested in signing the talented British youngster, but one of the conditions demanded by Gresini was that Smith bring sponsorship to the tune of 500,000 euros to the team. That kind of money is hard enough to raise even when the economy is good, and so Smith chose to stay in 125s and claim the title, with the hope of moving up in 2011 as World champion.