MotoGP » Bradley Smith
After two respectable, albeit not exactly headline-grabbing, seasons in Moto2, Tech 3 came good on its promise to promote Bradley Smith to the upper echelons of motorcycle racing in 2013, with the young Briton doing his best to grasp an excellent opportunity.
While some were quick to make comparisons with fellow Moto2 graduate (and eventual champion) Marc Marquez or podium scoring team-mate Cal Crutchlow, Smith kept his head down throughout some difficult early season moments - including a nasty hand injury at Mugello - and emerged to plot a broadly upward trajectory.
By the end of the season, Smith - riding the lowest spec M1 on the grid - had the measure of the factory Ducatis and cracked the top six on three occasions. Smith scored points in all but three races, then turned a rapid pace on Yamaha upgrades at the post-season Valencia test.
Smith will become Tech 3's unofficial team leader for 2014, with Crutchlow being replaced by reigning Moto2 champion Pol Espargaro.