Bradley Smith

Bradley Smith
United Kingdom
Birth Date: 
28 November, 1990
Birth Place: 

Bradley Smith Biography

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.

After the solid if unspectacular maiden season, Smith effectively assumed team leader status at Tech 3 Yamaha in Cal Crutchlow's absence in 2014. But although he would end the year two positions higher, he was left behind new rookie team-mate Pol Espargaro.

Smith seemed distracted by mid-season speculation over his future, leading to a spate of accidents - most notably at a disastrous Sachenring weekend. But Herve Poncharal kept faith in Smith and, settled by a new contract for 2015, went on to claim a maiden podium during an incident-packed Australian Grand Prix.

Nevertheless, Smith came into 2015 with plenty to prove - and would confound his critics.Tempering an upturn in speed with marvellous consistency, Smith finished every race inside the top ten, peaking with a second career podium in the tricky conditions of Misano.

More than that, given the factory bikes he was up against, Smith breached them on numerous occasions with ten top six finishes over the course of the year, leaving him a career best sixth overall and the year's top satellite rider.

Such performances had caught the eye of KTM, who made an early move to sign Smith for their new 2017 factory MotoGP project in a deal announced at the opening round of 2016. 

It was perhaps a good job the deal was done early with Smith no better than eighth that season, and missing three races due to injury on the way to just 17th in the standings. Espargaro managed eighth and was subseuqetmtly signed as Smith's KTM team-mate.

Espargaro continued that momentum at the new 'orange' era, holding the upper hand over Smith during their two seasons together, the Englishman peaking at eighth place on his 2018 KTM farewell at Valencia, on a soaking wet day when Espargaro took the bike's first rostrum.

Having lost his KTM seat to Johann Zarco, Smith pondered retirement before signing as Aprilia's test and wild-card rider alongside an entry in the new MotoE electric bike class for the Sepang team.

Smith finished second in the inagural MotoE series, albeit without a race win. The Aprilia wild-cards failed to yield a point, but when Andrea Iannone was banned from competition for an anti-doping infringement Smith was called up to ride most of the Covid-delayed 2020 season.

The #38 rode to a best of twelfth place but was replaced for the closing rounds by fellow test rider Lorenzo Savadori, who failed to score. When the (slower) Italian was then given the nod alongside Aleix Espargaro for the start of 2021, Smith could barely hide his frustration and ended his association with the factory.

The Englishman is set to return to MotoE in 2022 with former Sepang boss Razlan Razali's RNF team.

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