Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page -

Bradley Smith will be­come a fac­tory rider af­ter sign­ing a two-year deal to join new Mo­togp man­u­fac­turer KTM for the 2017 and 2018 sea­sons.

Putting pen to pa­per prior to last Sun­day’s Qatar race, Smith will be­come the lead­ing fig­ure in the Aus­trian firm’s plans to repli­cate the quick suc­cess of Suzuki who are al­ready bridg­ing the gap to Honda, Yamaha and Du­cati in only their se­cond full sea­son back.

Smith said: “It’s a pro­ject that I be­lieve is built for me. The fact that I’ll be part of de­vel­op­ment is some­thing that caught my eye. I don’t take the easy routes and I think ev­ery­body in­volved knows how hard it will be.

“But I know that there are a lot of tal­ented guys in­side KTM and they are all highly mo­ti­vated and will­ing to do a great job. They got me on the de­vel­op­ment side and I’m keen to see what they’ve done so far.”

And with the pres­sure of se­cur­ing a ride for next year al­ready gone, the Ox­ford­shire racer be­lieves that he’s in a much bet­ter po­si­tion to make the most of 2016; some­thing he demon­strated with a strong re­sult.

Los­ing out to team- mate Pol Es­par­garo for sev­enth by just 0.023s, Smith was able to meet his pre-sea­son goal of a top eight fin­ish and says there’s still much more to come.

“Al­though we got lucky with a few rid­ers crash­ing out, top eight to­day was there; sev­enth po­si­tion was there for the tak­ing. I was sev­enth un­til lit­er­ally five me­ters be­fore the line!”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.