Bradley Smith will lap the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit aboard a 500cc Yamaha during the Bikers' Classic event in July.
The British star, who is leaving the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team at the end of the 2016 season, is taking the opportunity to thank crew chief Guy Coulon for his efforts over the four seasons in the premier-class, by participating with Coulon as his mechanic.
Smith will ride a Yamaha ROC YZR-500 two-stroke, which is owned by Jean Marie Hérard and ridden by Belgian Laurent Naveau in the 1993 World Championship season.
“Over the last six seasons, the Tech3 team and I have become a strong unit and this is especially thanks to Guy. He has been my crew chief in the premier-class for the past four years and has helped me to achieve what I wanted to,” Smith explained. “So soon, I will get the chance to ride a 500c two-stroke Yamaha and Guy will be my crew chief.
“The Bikers Classic event is something that's been on my bucket list for a while. I have heard many stories about the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit and also the infamous two-stroke era and I will finally live it for myself. This will be a special moment because I will experience Guy's world for a weekend and share his passion for classic bikes.”
Coulon added: “I'm very pleased that Bradley will participate at the Spa-Francorchamps classic race because I believe it's a good opportunity to spend some time with him away from the usual MotoGP working environment and without having to experience too much pressure.
“Also, we will share a great passion of mine, which are classic bikes and in particular Grand Prix classic bikes. Bradley will have the chance to ride a Yamaha 500cc two-stroke motorcycle and I trust that this will be the first time for him to ride such a kind of bike. After the 125cc era, there haven't been many possibilities for him to ride two stroke engines, but I'm sure that the bike is legendary to him and also for me.
“I think this kind of motorcycle is something really special and to be honest, I'm looking forward to seeing such a young and physically prepared rider on it. This is because the Yamaha deserves to be ridden in a smooth and elegant way, which is sometimes difficult to see during these events because the riders are a lot more experienced and not as agile anymore.
“Therefore, I believe it will be an exciting experience for Bradley and a pleasure for everybody to see him on the bike.”
The event, from July 1-3. will feature 45 professional motorcycles of various engine sizes, plus a host of two-wheeled racing stars.
2017 KTM rider Smith will be present on Friday for a talk show at 19:30 with former racers Agostini and Sarron, before parading around the historic track on Saturday.