Tech 3 to offer Bradley Smith 2013 MotoGP deal

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Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal is hoping the offer of a Yamaha MotoGP ride in 2013 will entice British rider Bradley Smith to sign a new Moto2 contract with the French squad.

Smith turned down the opportunity to partner compatriot Cal Crutchlow in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad in 2012 after a series of impressive performances in the ultra-competitive Moto2 class.

Smith wants to stay in Moto2 and launch a serious title assault next season after he emerged as a consistent podium challenger in his rookie season.

The 20-year-old rides for Poncharal’s Tech 3 Racing squad but his results in 2011, which include three podium finishes, have attracted major interest from rival teams.

The latest to be linked with the Oxfordshire rider is the Spanish-based Aspar outfit, which Smith rode for in the 125GP class in 2009 and ’10.

The Aspar team is the biggest in the world championship paddock and like Tech 3, it could offer him a MotoGP future because of its contract with Ducati. Aspar will switch to Kalex chassis for next season, which makes it an even more attractive proposition for Smith, who has seen Stefan Bradl lead the title chase all season on the German-built frame.

Scott Redding’s Marc VDS Racing squad is also chasing Smith’s signature but Tech 3 boss Poncharal said his offer would include an option of a Yamaha YZR-M1 1000cc machine in 2013.

Poncharal told MCN: “The first thing in order to make him an offer was for him to make up his mind about Moto2 or MotoGP. Now I will make him an offer that he will have by Aragon. It will be for another year in Moto2 with the same team and all the development behind him and part of that offer will include the option of him moving to MotoGP with us in 2013.

“He is not only on my list and there is a lot of interest but I would love to sign him again. But am I in a position where I can make him a better offer than anybody else? I don’t know. I would love to stay working with him but I have been told that there is interest from other teams. I think he would like to make up his mind and announce something before he flies to Motegi, so something will happen soon.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt