Keith Huewen: Scott Smart ‘smudged the wrong toe’, questions his departure

Former 500cc Grand Prix racer Scott Smart is no longer the FIM technical director for the WorldSBK championship and will be replaced by French engineer Ludovic Reignier.
Scott Smart, WorldSBK
Scott Smart, WorldSBK

Smart, who was in his role as WorldSBK technical director since 2014, will remain within the FIM organisation as part of a new role. 

The former racer was the spearhead in bringing new technical regulations to WorldSSP in 2022, which allowed the likes of Ducati and Triumph to return to the intermediate class, while changes regarding engines, tyres, rev limits and weight were all introduced. 

Smart has also been a key cog in WorldSBK moving towards a minimum rider and bike weight limit, which is expected to come into place for the 2024 season. 

While it remains to be seen if Reignier relaxes the rules on rev limits - Smart was instrumental in implementing as he controversially knocked off 500 revs from Kawasaki following their lengthy spell of success - there’s not doubt that Smart had a good impact on the series as it’s gained more and more popularity in recent seasons. 

However, Smart has since lost his role atop the FIM WorldSBK chain, and Keith Huewen believes one reason for that is down to the Brit’s ‘forceful nature’.

Speaking on the MotoGP Podcast, Huewen said: "Let’s see the way WorldSBK shapes up. Scott Smart, nephew of Barry Sheene, son of Paul Smart, technically brilliant and Scotty was the technical director that just got fired. 

"The trouble when you’re forceful in your opinion and forceful in trying to make something happen - Scott obviously smudged the wrong toe at some stage. 

"But Scott has been responsible for the technical regs in WorldSBK. Obviously that’s been quite controversial during the time because he knocked 500 revs off the Kawasaki which Kawasaki definitely suffered from this last year. 

"But my question is will the new technical director relax that a little bit and allow WorldSBK to have a little bit more headroom regarding what they can do for each manufacturer, instead of manipulating the overall control. 

"Now Scott also put together the rules of the new WorldSSP series because we have different configurations of motorcycles coming to WorldSSP. So the guy that takes over from Scott Smart better be smart."

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