Bradley Smith on brink of Aprilia MotoGP test role for 2019

Bradley Smith says he is close to a deal to become Aprilia MotoGP test rider and hopes it can be concluded this weekend

Bradley Smith on brink of Aprilia MotoGP test role for 2019

Smith is losing his KTM race ride to Johann Zarco next season, and has been linked to test roles with several teams.

But KTM's decision to cut back on the number of wildcards it will enter next season made a position at his current squad less attractive to Smith, while Yamaha appears to be leaning towards Jonas Folger to spearhead its new European test team.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, Smith strongly suggested an Aprilia deal is imminent and that other options had closed.

"At the end of the day, there's no point hiding from it," said Smith.

"In Silverstone the final nail in the coffin was there from [Yamaha boss] Lin Jarvis, when he said it wouldn't be a British rider as a test rider.

"I feel like I have a lot to offer, and also I'm not done. And when you're not done, the motivation is high, and I want to be back in this paddock fill-time for 2020.

"The motivation is high to help the whole project and to ride well to put myself in the shop window. And with wildcards available it's always a great incentive for the rider.

"It's the Italian GP, all the [Aprilia] bosses are here, so something can be finalised once my manager turns up and we can announce something over these few days."

Aprilia race rider Aleix Espargaro thinks Smith would be a good fit, particularly if he is able to take part in numerous races as a wildcard.

"What we need in the team is somebody who really wants to come, not somebody that is waiting to decide to see if there's another thing," said Espargaro.

"I talked with Romano [Albesiano, team boss] about Bradley and he's a really good option. Bradley actually in the last two, three GPs improved a lot with the KTM.

"It's good if somebody is motivated to come and help us and race, it's very important for the pace and the speed that the test rider is able to do four or five GPs."

Scott Redding, who is being replaced by Andrea Iannone at Aprilia next season, was previously offered the test role but admitted his outburst in Austria, where he called the RS-GP bike "a piece of shit", harmed his chances.

He is still yet to decide on his future, as he weighs up options in World Superbike, Moto2 and a British Superbike offer from top Ducati team Paul Bird Motorsport.

"There's three choices," he said. "Last week it was in the air, now we're slowly getting to what we want, and then to make the decision on it really.

"There's still the offer from Birdy [Paul Bird] for BSB, World Superbike and still a chance of Moto2, but this is something that is a slimmer chance.

"I wanted this weekend to announce something because it's going on a long time, but it's taken a little bit longer. I want to be sure, that's the thing."


shares
comments
Casey Stoner: Ducati MotoGP team isn't using my feedback

Previous article

Casey Stoner: Ducati MotoGP team isn't using my feedback

Next article

Rossi refuses Marquez handshake gesture ahead of Misano MotoGP

Rossi refuses Marquez handshake gesture ahead of Misano MotoGP
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Bradley Smith , Stefan Bradl
Teams AB Motoracing , Aprilia Racing Team
Author Jamie Klein
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
The past clues which hint at the MotoGP order in Qatar Plus

The past clues which hint at the MotoGP order in Qatar

The MotoGP season kicks off this weekend in Qatar - two years after it last visited the Losail circuit for a race weekend as last season's round was called off. As ever, the pecking order is difficult to map out at this early stage of the season, but perhaps the 2019 race offers some clues as to how things might shake out...

MotoGP
Mar 27, 2021