KTM Signs Bradley Smith To Two-Year Factory MotoGP Deal

Bradley Smith is the next rider to be announced in the 2017 MotoGP line up. KTM today announced the British rider had signed a two-year deal with Smith, which will see the Englishman racing for the Austrian factory in MotoGP for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. 

The press release appears below:


KTM signs Bradley Smith as MotoGP factory rider for 2017/2018

MotoGP Announcement

The acquisition of Smith, announced at the opening round of the 2016 MotoGP in Qatar, follows the official roll out of the project at Austria’s Red Bull Ring in Spielberg in October 2015.

The first test was conducted four weeks later in Valencia, Spain. Since then, there have been two more rounds of successful tests, also in Spain and the company has appointed Mika Kallio, Alex Hofmann and Randy de Puniet as its official test riders so far.

The brand new KTM RC16 will be officially presented at Austria’s Home Grand Prix in mid August 2016.

Pit Beirer (Motorsport Director): “The MotoGP project is running exactly according to plan. Both the engineers at the factory and the test team are achieving highly professional work with two bikes and their test riders. By signing Bradley Smith as factory rider for two years we can now take the next step in the long journey to MotoGP.

At just 25, Bradley (Smith) is competing in his fourth season in the premiere class. He rode his way to second place in Misano and last season as overall sixth, he was clearly the best rider among all the customer teams.”

The British rider competed in his first races in the World Motorcycle Championship in 2006 in the 125cc class.Following five seasons in the smallest bike category and with a Vice World Champion title in 2009, he moved up to Moto2 class in 2011. He advanced into the MotoGP competition in 2014 and constantly improved in the premiere class during the last three seasons, finishing 10, 8, and 6 in the points. Except for his rookie season, he has continually been in the top ten finishers over the last ten years.

2016

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Comments

Hopefully the KTM comes along as fast as the Suzuki. Granted that means 2017 won't be awesome, but 2018 should be great!

Probably a good deal, Smith is a pretty steady rider. He can do the development work, let's see if they put a fast young rider next to him.

I think it's a win - win for both parties… Bradley gets a factory seat and KTM gets a solid racer and an excellent development rider…

I have read here that Ajo is expected to be the factory KTM team in MotoGP next year. But Ajo is not currently a MotoGP team. Does this mean someone will have to leave? Will Ajo have to negotiate with existing teams to secure grid slots? Or have two grid slots been reserved for KTM and the factory can assign them to Ajo or whoever they choose? (Thanks in advance for any clarification.)

KTM have been offered two grid slots as part of their MotoGP program. They can bring a new team in if they want to. 

Congrats to Smith!
A very nice and clever guy, but unfortunately he doesn't have the raw talent to fit in the top factory teams.
Hopefully he can help KTM build a great bike though, and get a nice pension plan while doing it. Win win. :)

I was pretty critical of Bradley at first, but he really has come along very well through hard work. He doesn't whine and complain when he doesn't get the best (which he's not getting) but he works hard and makes what he has work. This is exactly what KTM need.

Bradley is an asset to the MotoGP paddock, and KTM seems to take its racing quite seriously. The results they've achieved with their relatively new factory Supercross program have been impressive.

With factory KTM teams always closely associated with Red Bull I would think Bradly will have to disassociate himself with Monster which he has long partnered with.

So does the KTM contract make him a faster Tech3 rider or slower? I'm picking him to finish most races in front of Pol, whilst crashing more than he did last year in order to do so.

You've already got one strike against you, Pol finished handily in front of Smith. In fact, he's been beating Smith every single session since winter testing began. Yet nobody's talking about him.

Since when is a .023 sec gap 'handily'?

>>Yet nobody's talking about him.

Because last year Bradley dominated Pol and winter testing results don't put points on the board. Last year BS did well and as a result got the factory contract he wanted. Pol at best will be sitting in Tech3 for 3 more years since the Yam garage is full that long. That's if he is not let go by Yamaha for fresh talent before then. 5 years is a long time to be in the 'feeder' team.

Chris