KTM BOSS: ‘SMITH’S THE LOG­I­CAL CHOICE’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

KTM’S head of mo­tor­sport, for­mer GP mo­tocross racer Pit Beirer, has told MCN that Bradley Smith was not only the most log­i­cal choice for the fac­tory, he was also the first name on their list.

The Ger­man, who first ap­proached Smith in Jan­uary, says he met all the qual­i­ties KTM were af­ter and that in the end he was the only rider they en­tered into ne­go­ti­a­tions with.

“To take the cur­rent world cham­pion on­board would have stretched our bud­get to the limit and given us some­one who would not have taken the time to help de­velop the bike – it would just be too crazy.

“We want to grow with the rider, so we can­not use a rider who is close to re­tire­ment to build the project. Then, if you go through the rank­ings and find the guy who was sixth in the cham­pi­onship is ready to work hard, is of the right age, there were a lot of log­i­cal points around Bradley’s name; that’s why he was on top of our list.”

And while Smith might have been top of their shop­ping list, it wasn’t his will­ing­ness to ride for KTM that sealed the deal so eas­ily; rather, it was the man­ner with which the rider has ap­proached the project so far.

“The whole con­ver­sa­tion with him was a plea­sure. He showed up at the work­shop per­son­ally, with no man­age­ment with him – and that made us so con­fi­dent. We didn’t talk about money – he showed up, we spoke, and he liked what he saw; but I liked that this young rider had come alone to see me.”

Beirer says hav­ing a No1 rider in place takes a lot of pres­sure off find­ing some­one for their sec­ond bike: “We’re in no rush for a sec­ond rider now, and we will watch a lit­tle more of Moto2 and see how it de­vel­ops.”

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