Ex-MotoGP rider Smith lands World Supersport ride

Ex-MotoGP racer Bradley Smith will make his World Superbike paddock debut next weekend in Argentina with the Ten Kate World Supersport team.

Ex-MotoGP rider Smith lands World Supersport ride
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The British rider will take the place of an injured Leonardo Taccini at the Villicum circuit aboard one of Ten Kate's two Yamaha R6s, and will share a garage with reigning champion and points leader Dominique Aegerter.

Smith was a full-time MotoGP rider between 2013 and 2018, firstly with the Tech 3 Yamaha team and then with KTM, before coming a test rider with Aprilia in 2019 and stepping up to a full-time ride with the Italian marque in 2020 following Andrea Iannone being handed a doping ban.

The 31-year-old took a year out of racing after being benched by Aprilia with three races to go in 2020, but he returned to full-time competition this year in the MotoE category with the RNF Racing squad.

He also participated in the Le Mans 24 Hours Motos on a privateer Yamaha, but suffered a fractured vertebra in a crash and missed the opening three MotoE events of the season as a result.

“What a great opportunity for me to join the Ten Kate Racing team," said Smith. "After a tough season with injuries, it’s a great way to end the year, so thank you to the team for asking me for the Argentinian round.

"There is a lot coming at me in Villicum: the bike, the tyres, the track and the WorldSBK championship are all new to me. But having been on the circuit in Portimao, I’m looking forward to being part of an ultra competitive World Supersport category.”

 

Ten Kate's regular rider Taccini is unable to participate in Argentina after breaking his wrist in the opening race last weekend at Portimao, which also forced him to miss the second race.

Team manager Kervin Bos said of Smith: "We are very curious to see what we can achieve with him in Argentina. It will be a busy few weeks with races following each other in quick succession.

"We are looking forward to working with Bradley and will of course do everything we can to tune the Yamaha YFZ-R6 to him as much as possible, so he can show the best of himself.

"We wish Leonardo well and hope to see him back on his own bike soon.”

Aegerter goes into the Villicum round leading the standings by 45 points ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri as he aims for back-to-back Supersport titles before his step up to World Superbike with GRT Yamaha in 2023.

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