Bradley Smith will race in the 2013 MotoGP championship after signing a long-term deal with Tech 3 Yamaha.
The 20-year-old Brit, who is currently competing in the Moto2 championship, has signed an agreement with Tech 3 which will see him remain in Moto2 in 2012, before moving up to MotoGP for 2013 and 2014.
The Oxfordshire rider has impressed in Moto2 this season, with three podium finishes, including a best of second position in his home race at Silverstone in June. He has also claimed four other top six finishes and with four rounds of the campaign left, he remains firmly in the hunt for a fantastic third position in the overall rankings.
“I am thrilled to have signed a three-year deal with the Tech 3 Racing Team and I am looking forward to continuing the excellent relationship we’ve developed in 2011,” said Smith. “I have a fantastic relationship with Herve, my crew chief Tom Jojic and all my crew, who all have an amazing passion for racing. It is that dedication and desire to succeed that convinced me to join Tech 3 in 2011, so to be staying until the end of 2014 is the perfect scenario for me. There was never any doubt in my mind that Tech 3 would be the best option to develop my career.
“It has been flattering to have attracted interest from so many top teams in Moto2, but the opportunity to move to MotoGP in 2013 was simply too good for me to turn down. To think I’ll be riding a Yamaha 1000cc MotoGP bike just over a year from now is hard to believe. I’ve worked so hard for many years to earn the chance to be given an opportunity like this, and now it has come I intend to grab it with both hands. Tech 3 gave me the chance to move to MotoGP in 2012 and it was an honour to be even considered at this stage of my career.
“The decision to stay in Moto2 was one of the hardest of my life but I believe that together, we can be fighting at the front from the start of next season and pushing to challenge for the Championship.”
“It gives me enormous pleasure to confirm that Tech 3 has signed a three-year agreement with Bradley Smith,” added Tech 3 team manager, Herve Poncharal. “Without doubt, we have managed to secure the services of one of the brightest young talents in the world and I am thrilled that Bradley has put his trust in Tech 3 to help him accomplish his dream of racing in MotoGP.
We know he had a lot of interest inside the paddock because of the way he has performed this season, so it is a big compliment to Tech 3 that he chose to commit himself to us until the end of 2014 at least. Bradley has made an immediate impact in Moto2 this year and we all know it is a very difficult class.
“He has shown the true potential of the Mistral 610 machine with some phenomenal performances this season, and we are in no doubt that in 2012 he can be a genuine title contender before he makes the step to MotoGP. One more year in Moto2 will help him gain more valuable experience, so that when he moves to our MotoGP Team in 2013, he will be immediately competitive. I am convinced that with Bradley’s long-term commitment to Tech 3 Racing that we can look forward to a long and successful relationship together.”