Bradley Smith Extends Contract With Tech 3 For 2016

Bradley Smith has signed on for another season with the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team. The British rider has extended his contract, and will continue to ride for the team in 2016.

The announcement and its timing had been widely expected, coming as it does just days before the start of the British round of MotoGP at Silverstone. Smith had made it clear since before the summer break that he wanted to stay with Tech 3, but the contract took longer to put together than hoped. Smith spoke of his frustration about the situation at Indianapolis, though by Brno, some progress appeared to have been made. The deal was finalized shortly after the Czech round of MotoGP, just in time to be announced at his home race.

The stumbling block to a new contract was ensuring that Smith received equal treatment with Tech 3 teammate Pol Espargaro for 2016. This had been a thorn in Smith's side throughout the season, as upgrades such as a new chassis arrived on Espargaro's side of the garage, but were not available for Smith. As the Englishman has lead his teammate in the championship throughout the 2015 season, Smith felt that he too deserved better treatment from Yamaha. Talks with the factory at Indianapolis helped clear the air, opening the way for a deal to be signed.

Smith deliberately chose to sign just a one-year deal, to put him in sync with the rest of the MotoGP field. At the end of 2016, both Yamahas, both Hondas, both Ducatis, at least one Suzuki and one Aprilia seat will be open, as well as both seats at Tech 3, and possibly other satellite rides as well. If Smith, or any other young rider, has any hope of a factory contract, the 2017 season will be their first shot at obtaining one. Silly season for 2017 is likely to start very early next year, and get very silly indeed in its early stages.

Smith is unlikely to be the only British rider announcing a contract in the run up to the Silverstone round of MotoGP. Cal Crutchlow is believed to be very close to announcing a two-year extension of his contract with Honda, while Danny Kent and Sam Lowes could also make announcements on their future. Scott Redding could also clinch a new deal at Silverstone, but any possible switch from the Marc VDS team is still a long way from being agreed.

Below is the press release from Tech 3 on the deal:

Smith signs with Monster Yamaha Tech3 for 2016

Bradley Smith and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team are delighted to have reached an agreement that will see the British rider remain with the team for the 2016 season aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. The contract extension comes as Smith is currently undertaking his most successful MotoGP season to date, where he has finished no lower than 8th so far. Furthermore, he stands in fifth position and at the head of the satellite rankings in the championship after some highly impressive performances. Next season will be the British stars fourth season in the premier class with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and his sixth in total after joining the Tech3 Racing Moto2 Team in 2011. In his first term in MotoGP, Smith finished collecting more points than any other British rookie and he followed that success with another hard fought campaign in 2014 with a personal highlight of a superbly executed podium at Phillip Island. Furthermore, the Briton was part of this year's Suzuka 8 hour conquering team with Yamaha Factory Racing who won the elite event after 19 years. Smith will now focus on the remaining rounds in this season and will seek to battle as close as possible to the Factory MotoGP bikes before aiming to challenge for podiums in 2016 aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1.

Bradley Smith

"Obviously, I am really pleased to be able to continue this journey with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and it's fantastic news to resign for another season. We will be going into our sixth year together and I must say that it is certainly nice to be giving the guys the results and performances that they deserve at the moment. So far in 2015, I have been finishing where we want to be which is very positive, as I'm sure that I am in debt to them for the first two years in the premier class! Everyone in the team has put their faith in me again and we know that 2016 will be tricky due to the changes in regulations, however, I am optimistic that this will give the satellite riders more of a chance to be competitive. Therefore I am confident about going into next year, as I know that everything will be fairer so we will continue to work together and we fully intend to take our sponsors onto the podium. 2016 will be exciting and I am more than pleased about being able to ride aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 and with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team."

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"I am super happy and proud to finally announce that Bradley Smith will remain with our team for one more year. Brad will hold the record with Colin Edwards for the amount of time in the premier class with Tech3, which is four years and this shows that he will be a very important rider in the team's history. Of course, he deserves to be given the opportunity by the team together with Factory Yamaha to ride an M1 for another season after having had a fantastic first part of the year. In addition, the incredible win that he achieved with Pol and Nakasuga at the Suzuka 8 Hours was really impressive and he made us proud. Now we hope that the fact that his future is sorted will give him a big boost for his upcoming home GP and I am sure that he is going to be even stronger in the final rounds of the 2015 season compared to what we have seen so far."

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I'm always of the opinion that Brad has a little more to show. Let's see it!

Good for Smith! He has accomplished a lot this year. I can't figure out what teams see in Crutchlow. I like the guy, but it seems he has been afforded a lot of different opportunities and hasn't really delivered much. It would surprise me if Honda signs him for 2 more years. I personally think Bradl showed more potential when he was riding the Honda. As I recall, he actually led races and ran up front some. Sometimes Honda seems quick to give up on some riders and then they seem to stick with others too long.

Crutchlow has exhibited a higher potential. Let's look at some stats for the first 3 years of each rider :

Bradl has a single podium in his 3 years on the factory supported Honda. Bradley Smith also has a single podium in 3 years (3rd ongoing). Crutchlow scored 6 podiums in his 3 years.

Top 5 finishes in first 3 years :
Bradl : 17
Smith : 6 (he'll probably add a couple more by the time he finishes his 3rd)
Crutchlow : 19

Add in the fact that Bradl was on a factory supported Honda, exactly the same as Pedrosa and MM. He was outperformed by Cal Crutchlow on a satellite Yamaha (inferior to the factory Yam). Also, both Bradl and Smith delivered their best results when their respective bike was the best on grid (Honda, when Bradl was getting good results and Yamaha this year). Crutchlow did it on the 2nd best machinery.

Yes, Smith and Bradl are both good riders and Bradley is putting up a very solid, consistent performance this year, but to say that Cal isn't at least as good as them (if not better) is plain unfair.

Does not take smiths equipment into account or the fact he's been 4th in line for upgrades at Yamaha. In his first year his bike was so far behind Crutchlow's it was almost embarrassing.

Even this year he hasn't had the upgrades Pol has enjoyed. Next year will be Smiths first on equal terms with his team mate.

The guy deserves a trophy for his tenacity......

Cal did it on the same bike as Bradley. I hope Bradley can do more by the end of the season, however I think Cal is on the downward slope mainly from trying too hard on track and burning bridges off track.

As much as I like Crutchlow, I have to agree with jtross99.

I think that Cal is a good rider that has made some unfortunate decisions with regards to his team. And, yeah, he seems to be a bit less politically sensitive than some other riders which may have limited his future options.

Also, I am happy to finally hear about the good news for Smith. He deserves to be rewarded by Yamaha for his performance rather than have a rider he regularly beats get the good stuff. It seems to break the notion of beating your team-mate as the first priority of a rider. It seems Pol gets away with not doing that and still being held in higher regard by some in Yamaha.

Up for grabs will be that of Dani....

Another insane season by Marc..
Meditative sage mode by vr46...
And awfully butthurt Lorenzo running around...

all 3 riders fell down. michelin front tyre is not a tyre to slam the brakes. on several sites was reported JL could benefit from it. but still it seems some just want jl to have butthurt. i think thats not what its gonna be its almost hate posted as you just want that to happen. to bad i think JL wil do just fine.

Let's just be clear... I don't really like Marc..
With that aside... This guy came to motogp and in his rookie year was crowned the champion. Now I don't seriously think difference between two motogp bikes one on bstone and one on Michelin are as radical as difference between a moto2 and a motogp ride.

As for this season, we all know that, had Honda been a bit more quicker on bringing that 2014 chassis, Marc still would be there fighting for that 3rd championship title.

Michelin tyres are not going to be a handicap like 2015 chassis was for him. It's just going to be a adaptability phase for all...

And historically saying... Yamaha is going to be slower to adapt than Honda... So with Michelin, honda should enjoy the advantage of uncertainity... With that all, we could see a pacified Vale and "crass term" Lorenzo.

He has clearly improved and done a terrific job this season. Hopefully he'll take another step from now on and get closer to the podium.

I dont know why but im just not a fan. Its weird as im not one for favourites in racing. i usually go the underdog and brad is one of the biggest out there, so it weird why i dont get excited by his terrific results. All that said he has been brilliant this year and more than deserves his contract.

It's taken 24-year old Smith a long time to mature as a rider, but he's made it and I'm really pleased for him (for what it's worth).

Faced with similar contract doubt this time last year, he appeared to be cracking and falling apart at the seams. What a transformation in 12 months!!!

Personally, I loved the way he spoke-out against Yamaha about his treatment. Sure, they gave him a rap across the knuckles for stating in public what they wanted to keep private, but I don't blame him - he's developed self-confidence and belief. He's grown and become a success.

He's proved himself. He's helped Yamaha win at Suzuka and is easily the best non-factory rider on the grid this year. Why shouldn't he throw the gauntlet down?

It was a bold gamble that paid-off.

So what that Jarvis was displeased? Smith was holding all the cards. Jarvis knew it and didn't like it, but had to fold in the end.

All that Smith had ever asked for was an equal opportunity - just the same equipment and support as given to Espargaro (or Crutchlow in the past).

I'm delighted that he's finally being given that opportunity, but it's a shame that he had to force Jarvis' hand to get it - after 3 years of trying.

Bravo Bradley.

I always thought that Bradley had what it took to be at the sharp end. I must admit I was beginning to wonder when he'd take that next step. I'm glad to see him do so. New tires next year could mean that the manufacturers will be putting out changes that make quite an improvement. Your first goal is to beat your teammate, that's made more difficult when you don't get the updates till after they do. Well played to Smith and his manager.