SMITH SIGNS FOR KTM
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!”