Bradley Smith Signs Three-Year Deal With Tech 3, Will Switch To MotoGP From 2013

Bradley Smith has been a revelation in the 2012 season. After struggling a little in the early part of the year, Smith quickly got the hang of riding a 600cc four stroke, and with the help of his crew chief Tom Jojic, has become a consistent front runner in the Moto2 class.

For a while, Smith was linked to a promotion to the MotoGP class with the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team for next year, but hopes of such a move had faded over recent weeks. But with the announcement yesterday that Bradley Smith would be staying with the Tech 3 team for the next three years, Smith will get his promotion to MotoGP, albeit a year later than planned.

The deal sees Smith commit to Herve Poncharal's Tech 3 team through 2014. Next season, the young Englishman will stay in Moto2 and attempt to win the title in that class - a task that will be made much easier now that Marc Marquez is almost certain to ascend to a MotoGP ride on a Honda next year - after which he will switch to the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team for 2013 and 2014. Smith's ties with Monster will have helped him secure the deal, as the US energy drink have also extended their contract with the Tech 3 MotoGP team for the next three years as well.

The Tech 3 press release announcing Smith's contract appears below:

Tech 3 Racing Team signs three-year deal with Bradley Smith

The Tech 3 Racing Team is delighted to announce it has reached a three-year agreement with highly rated British rider Bradley Smith.

Smith's new contract will see him remain with the Tech 3 Racing Team in the ultra-competitive Moto2 World Championship in 2012.

He will then move to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP Team for 2013 and 2014 having agreed the long-term deal with Tech 3 owner Herve Poncharal during last weekend's Motorland Aragon race.

The 20-year-old has been one of the star performers in this year's Moto2 World Championship, showcasing the high potential of the Tech 3 Racing Mistral 610 with three podium finishes, including a be st of second position in his home race at Silverstone in June.

Smith has also claimed four other top six finishes and with four rounds of the campaign left, he remains firmly in the hunt for a fantastic third position in the overall rankings.

Completing the Tech 3 Racing Moto2 line-up in 2012 will be Xavier Simeon. The Belgian rider has gained a wealth of experience riding the Tech 3 Mistral 610 machine in his rookie campaign in 2011, and he is looking forward to building on his close relationship with the French-based squad.

Simeon has scored points in three races to date, including a best result of 12th in the Mugello round. The 22-year-old will continue to be supported by RTL-Sport in Belgium.

Bradley Smith:

"I am thrilled to have signed a three-year deal with the Tech 3 Racing Team and I am looking forward to continuing the excellent relationship we've developed in 2011. I have a fantastic relationship with Herve, my crew chief Tom Jojic and all my crew, who all have an amazing passion for racing. It is that dedication and desire to succeed that convinced me to join Tech 3 in 2011, so to be staying until the end of 2014 is the perfect scenario for me. There was never any doubt in my mind that Tech 3 would be the best option to develop my career. It has been flattering to have attracted interest from so many top teams in Moto2, but the opportunity to move to MotoGP in 2013 was simply too good for me to turn down. To think I'll be riding a Yamaha 1000cc MotoGP bike just over a year from now is hard to believe. I've worked so hard for many years to earn the chance to be given an opportunity like this, and now it has come I intend to grab it with both hands. Tech 3 gave me the chance to move to MotoGP in 2012 and it was an hono ur to be even considered at this stage of my career. The decision to stay in Moto2 was one of the hardest of my life but I believe that together, we can be fighting at the front from the start of next season and pushing to challenge for the Championship."

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:

"It gives me enormous pleasure to confirm that Tech 3 has signed a three-year agreement with Bradley Smith. Without doubt, we have managed to secure the services of one of the brightest young talents in the world and I am thrilled that Bradley has put his trust in Tech 3 to help him accomplish his dream of racing in MotoGP. We know he had a lot of interest inside the paddock because of the way he has performed this season, so it is a big compliment to Tech 3 that he chose to commit himself to us until the end of 2014 at least. Bradley has made an immedi ate impact in Moto2 this year and we all know it is a very difficult class. The rules mean that rider talent plays a crucial role in determining the results, and Bradley has shown he has the speed, talent and commitment to match the best. He has shown the true potential of the Mistral 610 machine with some phenomenal performances this season, and we are in no doubt that in 2012 he can be a genuine title contender before he makes the step to MotoGP. One more year in Moto2 will help him gain more valuable experience, so that when he moves to our MotoGP Team in 2013, he will be immediately competitive. I am convinced that with Bradley's long-term commitment to Tech 3 Racing that we can look forward to a long and successful relationship together. I'm also pleased to have signed Xavier Simeon. He has shown a lot of promise in 2011 and I'm sure next year he can be consistently finishing in the points and I want to thank RTL-Sport in Belgium for their continued support."

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Who'll get the 2nd Tech 3 in 2012?

Who'll sign for 2012 knowing he'll likely be bumped for 2013?

Is Cal worried?

I really like the kid and not bashing him at all, I think 3 podiums in his rookie season in Moto2 and fighting for 3rd or 4th place in the standings is a really really good result.
Yet having a 2 year contract for MotoGP seems very early considering his achievements. I mean come on, he hasn't even won a Moto2 race yet!
There's no doubt that Marquez will end up in MotoGP for 2012 or 2013 but he doesn't have a contract yet, all the same for Bradl who is likely but not certain to move up to MotoGP for 2013.
Even Iannone, a rider with multiple Moto2 wins and podiums to his name doesn't have anything aligned for him at the moment...
Bradley is very talented for sure, but I don't quite understand the 3 years deal, it seems quite early for that, doesn't it? Herve has a lot of experience and I'm sure he knows what he's doing, he always invests wisely.
Anyway good luck to Bradley, I enjoy seeing Tech3 (the first Moto2 team designing, making and developing their own chassis) fighting at the front and he certainly showed lots of guts with his rides this year.

Yes it does seem a little early and even unprecedented... I think this will be a good move for Smith to stay in Moto2, gain ever valuable experience then move up. Maybe Tech 3 and Monster wanted to secure Smith rather than see him potentially jump ship to another team in the future. He does seem to be England's next great hope of a MotoGP rider.

I wonder what will happen with the other riders that could and should be moving into MotoGP in 2012 and 2013 (Marquez, Bradl, Iannone, Corsi, etc.)? It seems we don't have enough seats in MotoGP and thus people are getting bumped out. Heck if Ducati can't get things in order then we may lose a few more bikes... Really wish Yamaha would support having 6 bikes on the grid and Suzuki at least 2, even 4 would be awesome! Why can't a satellite team do some of their own development work, the factories could compensate them for what they develop.


This is exactly why they were created, they become the perfect stepping stone from Moto2 to MotoGP for those riders that don't attract the attention of the big sponsors, or those who simple don't suit the 600cc class quite as well as they would a 1000cc (kinda like an inverse Elias?), maybe with a young kid on a CRT he could pull a Casey Stoner and ride the wheels off the thing and beat some Sat's and Factory riders having a really bad day at the wrong track ...

It is unusual. But it sets a good example of how to invest in a rider, create some stability and not just rush to the next hottest thing. I think it's a good experiment given the Moto2/CRT evolution (not that it applies to the moment). Riders can be involved in the development of the team's bikes from before they are racing them. At the same time, I'm sure there are a few escape clauses for both sides.

Pushing to get another British rider into MotoGP to help the UK ratings?

There's no doubt that Marquez will end up in MotoGP for 2012 or 2013 but he doesn't have a contract yet, all the same for Bradl who is likely but not certain to move up to MotoGP for 2013.
Even Iannone, a rider with multiple Moto2 wins and podiums to his name doesn't have anything aligned for him at the moment...

  • Marquez will ride a Honda when he goes to Moto GP.
  • Bradl is linked to a CRT with his current team.
  • Iannone is currently riding for Uccio, so is likely to be linked to Ducati when he goes to Moto GP.

I think you are correct. Herve knows what he's doing, and he's investing wisely.

I agree that Bradleys achievments to date might not appear to warrent a 3 year deal, but Poncheral must be suitably impressed by Bradleys work ethic, fitness, positive attitude etc. Hell, he's even very media friendly (when he keeps a hat on) and comes across well in interviews.

Of course, this means that Tech 3 could do limitless testing on the 1000cc bike with Smith if they wanted in 2012, but I dont think they'll take the piss on that front.

Good news for fans of british riders, we've been really lucky with the tech 3 team either dorna are giving him plenty or he just likes brit riders either way it's good news. Suspect their will be a performance clause built in. Whilst I suspect some of it's down to technique/tyres, last years moto2 champs season has been a bit of a shocker.. I suspect Herve is not too worried about 2013 it's a long way off in motogp terms and all riders will probably have performance clauses and if he's got 3 all over performing it'll be a nice though unexpected surprise. Casey did little in the lower classes so you never know when you try a promising rider. Not saying he is anything like Casey of course, and will have to step up his game quite a bit next year if hes to look worthy of a tech 3 bike.

I'm not sure if you watched the 125 and 250s? Back when he was racing there he was usually a front runner and pushed Pedrosa through the Philip Island race in their last year on the 2T twins. And this comes from a non-fan of the boy. The Horatio Alger stuff just gets a bit deep at times.

Yep he had a very good second half to his last year in 250s on a very good bike(it won every championship after he left). No question he had some great wins at the end but the year before he was 5th in 125 and the year before that 8th in 125 hardly marquez esque, and of course I followed the 125/250's but relative to what he's doing now very few expected him to dominate motogp me included. Nothing else meant and it wasn't meant as a criticism in any way more as a positive that being top in a lower class does not guarantee success in the top class nor vice versa.. I think it's become catching on this site as it near impossible to comment with candor when mentioning Casey ... completely over the top. In short Casey wasn't put in anywhere near the same class as Dani and Jorge when he first moved up by anyone especially the folk who are involved in it.. but it meant nothing as he has proved otherwise..
Why don't you go back to bed and try getting up on the right side.???

Knew Casey was something special. Stoner only had hat single year on a factory 250, compared to those other riders you mention like Pedrosa, Dovi and Lorenzo who had factory bikes their entire riding careers. And when Stoner got to grips with factory bike (in the very small Carrera Chechinello run team) he pushed Dani all the way and beat him several times. As for 125, he was on the brand new 'factory' KTM which he had to basically develop at the tender age of 16 or something, it wasn't the equal of even the seconf tier Aprilia's when he started riding it. No, it was clear to those in the know that Casey had raw talent, but you never really know what a rider is packing as far as all that goes until you put them in the ultimate test - MotoGP/500. Smith may yet turn out to be a prodigious talent, but I haven't seen much of it yet. To compare him with Stoner at similiar stages of their careers just before they were offered GP rides you would be looking for him to regularly be beating the likes of Marquez and Bradl, and thats just not happening. Maybe next year when those two move up he will step up, but to be honest I would still have my money on the likes of Corsi and Iannane to fill the void.

BTW, the Aprilia 250 didn't win every title after Stoner left, the last 250 championship went to Aoyama on a Honda that was basically the same as the years Dani won on it.

Isn't there a money/sponsor story behind this surprising contract ? In other words, will Smith bring big money with him ?

edit: sorry, answer in the article

Is it just me our haven't you all twigged, Tech 3 are basically telling Crutchlow you're out at the end of next year?
Smith coming in 2013, the new guy to replace Edwards will no doubt be on a 2 year deal this year.... So unless they are planning on 3 bikes ta ta Crutchlow......

This is probably a wildly uninformed stab in the dark, but could they be lining him up to ride a CRT bike using their in-house developed framed with an r1 engine based on the the Moto2 frame Bradley is riding now? It will be interesting to see how he goes in Motogp. No one gave Abraham much of a chance this year, and he has certainly shown that he is worthy of a spot.