Bradley Smith to ride YZR-500 two-stroke GP bike

Published: 02 June 2016

MotoGP rider Bradley Smith will trade his 250bhp four-stroke racing bike for a screaming 500cc two-stroke GP ROC Yamaha YZR-500 at this year’s Bikers’ Classic at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium.

Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Smith will be leaving his current team at the end of the season before he transfers to the new KTM factory team in MotoGP for the 2017 season. Smith will ride the YZR-500 ROC Yamaha at the Bikers’s Classic event at Spa between July 1 and 3 alongside 45 other professional riders in a wide variety of bikes and classes. Smith’s mechanic for the weekend will be his current Tech3 Yamaha crew chief Guy Coulon.

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The event will provide a behind the scenes look at over 40 years of MotoGP history at the world famous circuit. Smith will be present on Friday for a talk show at 7.30pm with former racers Giacomo Agostini and Christian Sarron, before parading twice around the historic track on Saturday.

Smith said: “Over the last six seasons, the Tech3 team and I have become a strong unit and this is especially thanks to Guy. He has been my crew chief in the premier class for the past four years and has helped me to achieve what I wanted to. So soon, I will get the chance to ride a 500c two stroke Yamaha and Guy will be my crew chief. The Bikers Classic event is something that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I have heard many stories about the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit and also the infamous two-stroke era and I will finally live it for myself. This will be a special moment, because I will experience Guy’s world for a weekend and share his passion for classic bikes.”

Coulon added: “I'm very pleased that Bradley will participate at the Spa-Francorchamps classic race because I believe it's a good opportunity to spend some time with him away from the usual MotoGP working environment and without having to experience too much pressure. Also, we will share a great passion of mine, which are classic bikes and in particular Grand Prix classic bikes. Bradley will have the chance to ride a Yamaha 500cc two-stroke motorcycle and I trust that this will be the first time for him to ride such a kind of bike.

“After the 125cc era, there haven’t been many possibilities for him to ride two stroke engines, so I trust that bike is legendary to him and also for me. I think this kind of motorcycle is something really special and to be honest, I'm looking forward to seeing such a young and physically prepared rider on it. This is because the Yamaha deserves to be ridden in a smooth and elegant way, which is sometimes difficult to see during these events because the riders are a lot more experienced and not as agile anymore. Therefore, I believe it will be an exciting experience for Bradley and a pleasure for everybody to see him on the bike.”