Author: Oli Rushby Pics: Bonnie Lane Posted: 15 Aug 2015
Bradley Smith has said he is more than happy to wait for a deal with Tech 3 Yamaha for the 2016 season so long as his other options don’t disappear.
The Briton says he expected things to be sorted by now and has openly admitted the delay has not come from his side.
“I’ve expressed my interest to stay but I don’t know if something has changed compared to what we knew in Indy,” said Smith speaking in Brno. “I don’t know if Yamaha’s plans have changed or Herve’s plans have changed, but it seems I just have to wait. I’m playing the waiting game at the moment; which is fine. It is what it is.”
Smith admits comments he made to journalists last week in Indianapolis were intended to speed things up but seem to have had the opposite effect.
“I’ve made it very clear to my team and to Yamaha that I want to continue, but there’s not the same enthusiasm coming the other way at the minute,” he said.
“Obviously Indy was difficult after those comments,” he confessed. “I got a bit of a bad rap for it but at the end of the day I went on the attack and tried to push something because things aren’t happening as fast as I would like them to. It’s certainly nothing negative, it’s just I’m going to have to wait a little bit longer.”
Last year, Smith told Bike Social his aim for 2015 was to both beat his team mate and be the top satellite bike in the championship standings. After ten rounds, Smith is fulfilling both of these goals by a considerable margin. He currently sits fifth in the overall standings; ahead of two factory riders and holds a 23 point advantage over nearest satellite rival Cal Crutchlow.
He’s also ahead of teammate Pol Espargaro, who renewed his contract with Yamaha just last weekend.
“The good thing is that the other options are not going away, because only Pol’s signed at the moment,” Smith continued. “I’d be more worried if we were in this situation and all the other rides were disappearing. At the moment I’m more happy to wait than worry too much.
“In my head it would be nice to know by Silverstone. I think anything later than that and we are risking it a little bit, because I need to make things clear depending on what’s going on. I think during the Silverstone weekend I would like to know exactly what’s going on.
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“I’m playing the waiting game because I want to stay. I’m not putting a deadline on it because I want to stay so much, so I’m just waiting.”
While being happy to wait, Smith says he’s not too sure why the team and Yamaha are keeping him in the dark.
“I don’t really know what the situation is. I know obviously there have been rumours about other riders. I don’t know if we are waiting for them to decide what they want to do. There is certainly no sticking point from my side, all of that got taken care of in Indy.”
One problem for Smith could be his nationality. For the past two seasons MotoGP bosses have put pressure on Tech 3 to take a French or German rider, namely Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger who are both believed to have turned down the ride last year.
Both Moto3 championship leader Danny Kent and Moto2 frontrunner Sam Lowes are thought to be eying a step up to MotoGP for 2016 meaning there would be five Brits in the class.