KTM BOSS: ‘SMITH’S THE LOGICAL CHOICE’
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.”