Bradley Smith now weighing up Aprilia, Yamaha MotoGP test positions

Bradley Smith has confirmed he is looking at test rider roles with Aprilia and Yamaha for 2019 and says he wants to make five MotoGP wildcard appearances next year

Bradley Smith now weighing up Aprilia, Yamaha MotoGP test positions

Smith's six-year MotoGP tenure will come to an end at the conclusion of the current campaign, as KTM will run Johann Zarco and Smith's current team-mate Pol Espargaro next season.

The SIC Yamaha team's seats have gone to Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo, and Smith - who originally contemplated retirement - has now expressed his desire to take on a test role.

He was originally in contention for that position at KTM, but his stipulation of five wildcard outings in 2019 ruled him out of staying on at the Austrian marque, which is keen to cut back on fielding third bikes next season.

Smith said he is now focused on opportunities either Aprilia or Yamaha.

The former is understood to be a more likely destination, especially as its concession team status means it can field more wildcards.

"[I'm] still waiting on a few things, it's between Yamaha and Aprilia," Smith said.

"Both options are still available, nothing is signed or sealed, there's no announcement.

"I know what I want, in terms of five wildcards and to be there as a test rider. When the final decisions are available, then that's what I'm pushing for.

"[I'm] still waiting for Yamaha to make their final decision and their final plan, but until that happens both are options."

Despite waiting on Yamaha, Smith believes he has "more to bring" to Aprilia as Yamaha's YZR-M1 is already "refined".

"Honestly I'm happy with both options," he added, when asked if Yamaha was his preferred destination.

"I would have liked to have been on the [SIC] Petronas bike, I was pushing for that in the middle of the season, I think it would have been a good opportunity for me.

"But most likely Morbidelli and Quartararo will have signed two-year deals, and they'll probably see those through.

"So I have to also weigh up, if I want to come back in 2020, where does that sit me?

"I think I have more to bring to Aprilia, because I've been in this development role with KTM and we're bringing the bike up.

"Yamaha is already a refined motorcycle and there's not really a massive amount a test rider can bring to that.

"But do I want to go back and work a lot, or do I want to ride an already tuned bike? I'll make a decision when both options are available."

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Bradley Smith , Stefan Bradl
Teams AB Motoracing , Aprilia Racing Team
Author Lewis Duncan
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