Bradley Smith will make a surprise return to the Moto2 class in front of his home fans at Silverstone next weekend, riding for the Sepang team.

The Englishman, who currently races for the One Energy (Sepang) team in MotoE alongside MotoGP test and wild-card duties for Aprilia, has been called-up as the latest replacement for the injured Khairul Idham Pawi.

Smith last raced in Moto2 on a Tech3 chassis during 2011-2012 when his three podiums provided a springboard into MotoGP with the French team.

But the British Grand Prix will be the first time Smith has tried the new 765cc Triumph Moto2 engine and updated electronics, as well as a Kalex chassis.

“Honestly, it’s going to be quite strange to jump onto a Moto2 bike for the first time since 2012, because the championship has changed quite a lot," said the 28-year-old, who spent six-seasons as a full-time MotoGP rider for Tech3 and then KTM. 

"I’ve followed the changes very closely with the new engine and a little more torque and power, but it’s still going to be very different for me. I’m excited for the opportunity though! I had a fantastic time last year at the British Grand Prix, qualified really well, and missed out being able to race in front of the fans, so to be able to turn up for my home race again will be amazing.

"My target for the weekend is to have fun, to do the best I can, and to come away on Sunday with something to be proud of. I’ve got no idea how it’ll work, having to learn a bike, a track and tyres on a normal GP weekend, but it’s something I’m very excited for!”

Petronas Sprinta Team Director Johan Stigefelt added: “For us as a team it’s great to have Bradley join us for Silverstone, especially as he’s already part of our team in MotoE. We know him really well, we know as a rider he’s always dedicated and he always gives 100%, and it’s great to give him the opportunity at his home race.

"Of course it’s going to be difficult for him as he hasn’t ridden Moto2 in a long time and the bikes are very different now, but we’re aware of that and we’ll give him the tools he needs to be as fast as possible.”

Pawi suffered a serious finger injury in May and underwent further surgery this week after being forced to abandon a planned return at Brno.

Mattia Pasini and then Jonas Folger have replaced the Malaysian so far, with a best result of 11th by Pasini at Mugello. Fellow Moto2 race winner Folger topped opening practice at Sachsenring, but the Yamaha MotoGP test rider did not score a point in his five race appearances.

 

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