Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 27 Jan 2016
Bradley Smith has said his sole target for this year’s MotoGP season is to put himself in the shop window for a factory ride in 2017.
Smith heads into the 2016 season having enjoyed his best ever year in MotoGP in 2015. Finishing sixth in the world, the British star ranked top satellite rider, ahead of factory Ducati man Andrea Dovizioso.
However, the 25-year-old is under no illusions that he’ll be able to secure one of GP’s top seats at Honda or Yamaha.
“I’m hoping to get a factory ride in 2017 and that’s the real goal of the season, to earn that,” Smith said speaking to Bike Social ahead of the first test in Sepang.
“How do you do that? You be the guy that everyone wants, or at least put yourself in the shop window for people to look at you and take you seriously.
“I don’t expect to get a Yamaha or Honda ride. I’m going to be honest; I don’t expect them to come knocking because they have the pick of anybody they want, but I’m going to at least put myself in their thought process and the only way to do that is to be best of the non-factory bikes at the moment. That mean’s top satellite rider.
“The good thing is that now there are other factories too, Suzuki and Ducati and KTM come back in 2017. I really expect Suzuki to up their game in 2017; I believe they are already ahead of people like us. In Valencia, Aleix [Espargaro] and Maverick [Vinales], especially Maverick, were riding very fast so I expect them to make the next step.
“The new ECU is based around Ducati software so you have to think that will bring them into the mix a little bit more after their strong showing last year.”
The MotoGP season gets underway on 20th March in Qatar. You can watch all the race action throughout the season exclusively live on BT Sport, the home of MotoGP in the UK. For more information on BT Sport visit bt.com/sport