Smith ready for the ride of his life

Posted on Nov 08, 2012 by Nick Harris

Twenty one year old Bradley Smith is ready for the ride of his life on Tuesday (November 13). The Oxfordshire Grand Prix motorcycle rider will test the 200mph Monster Tech 3 Yamaha on which he will contest the 2013 MotoGP™ World Championship for the very first time at Valencia in Spain.

Smith is the youngest ever British rider to be awarded a full time contract in the MotoGP World Championship after impressive performances in both the 125cc and Moto2™ World Championships in the last few years. The last British rider to win the premier class of grand prix racing was Barry Sheene in 1977 while the legendary Sheene was the last British premier class grand prix winner in 1981.

Smith, a former Schoolboy Motocross Champion takes on the likes of World Champions Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa when he joins Isle of Man based Midlander Cal Crutchlow in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team.

“I’ve known for over a year about the test but suddenly the day has arrived and I can’t wait,” explained Bradley before competing in the final round of the Moto2 World Championship in Valencia this weekend. “I’ve been given the chance of a lifetime to compete against the best riders in the world in the most competitive series on two wheels. It’s a massive opportunity starting on Tuesday and I can’t wait to start a new chapter in my career.”

It is a massive step up for three times grand prix winner Smith, who finished runner-up in the 2009 125cc World Championship. He will contest the final round of the Moto2 World Championship in Valencia on Sunday before the first MotoGP test on Tuesday at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The test is already creating enormous interest. In addition to Smith’s MotoGP debut nine times World Champion Valentino Rossi makes his return to Yamaha while Moto2 World Champion Marc Marquez rides the MotoGP Repsol Honda for the first time.

The two day test at Valencia starts at 10.00 am local time on Tuesday and finishes on Wednesday at 17.00.

• Next season Bradley Smith will be the youngest ever British rider to have a full-time ride in the MotoGP World Championship

• At the French GP in 2012 he became, at the age of 21 years 174 days, the youngest British rider of all-time to reach the milestone of 100 Grand Prix starts, taking the record from Mike Hailwood

• His second place in the 2009 125cc World Championship is the best performance by a British rider across all classes since Barry Sheene finished second in the 500cc World Championship in 1978

• The last British rider before Bradley Smith to have more than a single Grand Prix win, across all classes, was Barry Sheene who took his last victory in 1981

• Bradley Smith finished second in the Moto2 race at Silverstone in 2011 after qualifying down in 28th place on the grid.  This is the lowest grid position from which a rider has had a podium finish in any class since 1996

• He scored a total of 223.5 points in the 125cc World Championship in 2009 – the highest single season points score ever achieved by a British rider in Grand Prix racing.

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