Tech 3 Yamaha rider Bradley Smith has signed a two-year deal to race for the new KTM works squad in MotoGP starting from the 2017 season.
The Briton had previously made no secret of his desire to move on to a factory team in 2017, Smith casting doubt upon his Tech 3 future writing in his personal blog ahead of the Qatar weekend.
“This is the first time I’ve started the season in a situation where it looks almost certain I will be switching teams next year,” he wrote.
“It looks like it’s time to move on for both parties. Team boss Herve Poncharal has made it clear he will not be renewing next year, however well I do.”
Now KTM has confirmed Smith as one of its riders for its new MotoGP venture, signing the Briton for two seasons starting in 2017.
"By signing Bradley Smith as factory rider for two years we can now take the next step in the long journey to MotoGP," said KTM motorsport director Pit Beirer.
"At just 25, Bradley is competing in his fourth season in the premier class. He rode his way to second place in Misano and last season as overall sixth, he was clearly the best rider among all the customer teams.”
Smith will be embarking on his fourth and final premier class campaign with Tech 3 this season, having secured his best championship finish of sixth last season after scoring in every race.
He has scored two podiums so far, taking third at Phillip Island in 2014 before finishing second in last year's rain-affected Misano race.
KTM has not indicated who will fill its second seat for 2017, although it has ex-MotoGP rider Randy de Puniet as well as Moto2 veterans Mika Kallio and Thomas Luthi on its books as testers.