Bradley Smith will return to MotoGP action at the forthcoming Japanese MotoGP.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider has been absent for the past three races after suffering knee ligament damage during a one-off ride in the World Endurance championship.

Since then, the Briton has undergone an intense rehabilitation programme as well as surgery to get back on track for the first of the flyaway races.

"I am really happy that I will be getting back on the Yamaha YZR-M1 in Motegi," Smith said. "I have to admit that it has been challenging for me to watch the last three races from the sofa on a Sunday, even though it looks like the conditions in those rounds were tough. It's good that this period is over now and I can finally return to the track.

"I have been working hard on my entire rehabilitation and many people have committed a lot of time and effort to give me the best chance to be ready as quickly as possible. In fact, the recovery process was due to be six months but after the efforts by myself, the doctors and everyone else, I managed to do it eight to nine weeks.

"For sure, it's super that I am fit enough to race again and I am excited for the last four MotoGP events of the 2016 season, including the flyaway races and in addition, I am looking forward to seeing the whole Monster Yamaha Tech3 team again."

Smith was replaced by countryman Alex Lowes, although the World Superbike regular was forced to withdraw from today's Aragon race after foot injuries on Saturday.

"It's a real shame that I didn't end my time in MotoGP in a positive way, but I've really enjoyed the experience and the whole Monster Yamaha Tech3 team were very welcoming to me," Lowes said. "I have learnt a lot and even though it's a pity that this race didn't end in a positive way, Silverstone and Misano were fantastic.

"With regards to my injury, the top of my foot is still swollen and I've lost a lot of movement so I'm going to get everything checked as there are a couple of areas that are still sore and I have the Superbike race in France next week. The crash yesterday was big and I feel quite lucky to get away with just this injury and nothing worse. I must thank the whole team again and also wish them all the best for the rest of the season.

"It was definitely special to complete my first ever MotoGP race in Silverstone as it was my home GP, and I can happily look back on the past month which certainly improved my ability as a motorcycle rider and I hope I can come back to the championship in the future."


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