Smith 'happy' to retire from racing unless he lands new MotoGP ride

KTM's outgoing factory MotoGP rider Bradley Smith says he would be "happy" to retire from competitive racing if he cannot secure a premier-class ride for 2019

Smith 'happy' to retire from racing unless he lands new MotoGP ride

Smith, in his sixth season in MotoGP, will lose his KTM seat to Johann Zarco at the end of the year, and currently has no obvious opportunities to remain on the grid.

He had mentioned his former Tech3 team, now affiliated with KTM, as a potential option, but the French outfit has already announced KTM's Moto2 rider Miguel Oliveira as one of its 2019 signings and is expected to retain Hafizh Syahrin alongside him.

Speaking to media on Saturday after qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, Smith said he was keen to remain in MotoGP - but claimed he would have no qualms about retiring if he couldn't find a ride.

"At the end of the day, I want to be here inside of MotoGP," the 27-year-old Briton said.

"I've had a fortunate career where I've been able to ride the best motorcycles in the world against the best riders in the world.

"And if one of those bikes inside this championship wasn't available, then I'm happy to close the chapter on this racing world and step away."

A race-winner in the 125cc and a winner of the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours, Smith scored two podiums in his time in the premier-class and claimed a best overall championship position of sixth in 2015.

"I'm happy - I've had a good run at this," he added. "I've enjoyed every part of what I've done.

"At the end of the day, I have the chance to ride the best tyres, work with the best people, work with manufacturers, as I've done with Aprilia [in 125cc], with Tech3, with Yamaha, with KTM. And, you know, that's what makes me motivated.

"Of course, results is fun, but the thing that gets you up in the morning is knowing that you're in this top one per cent and you have to remain there.

"And if that was no longer my situation, then I wouldn't be so interested to carry on."

Smith noted he was open to remaining in the paddock even if he's to retire - and also said he would consider a designated test rider role with a manufacturer.

"At least with the test rider-type thing, you still get a chance to be inside this paddock, you still have a chance to ride the best motorcycle," he said.

"What Mika [Kallio, KTM test rider] is doing would be a fantastic thing, but whether those type of opportunities become available, we'll have to wait and see."

He stressed that he was not exploring options in the World Superbike championship, as he did not consider himself "a production bike racer".

"I've always ridden race bikes. I know what I'm good at and I know what I enjoy.

"Don't get me wrong, World Superbike is crammed full of talent, but I'm not sure a production bike is for me."

shares
comments
MotoGP Mugello: Yamaha rider Rossi takes first pole since 2016

Previous article

MotoGP Mugello: Yamaha rider Rossi takes first pole since 2016

Next article

Ducati MotoGP rider Lorenzo says Le Mans race issues now resolved

Ducati MotoGP rider Lorenzo says Le Mans race issues now resolved
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Bradley Smith
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Gerald Dirnbeck
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
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