KTM boss Beirer: Smith was the logical choice

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KTM’s head of motorsport, former MXGP racer Pit Beirer, has told MCN that Bradley Smith was not only the most logical choice for the factory, he was also the first name on their list.

First approaching Smith in January, the Austrian says that he met all the qualities they were after – and that in the end he was the only rider they entered negotiations with.

“To explain it logically, we started out from scratch and knew what we wanted. To take the current world champion onboard would have stretched our budget to the limit from the first moment and given us someone who would not have taken the time to help develop the bike – it would just be too crazy.

“On the other side, we want to grow with the rider, so we cannot use a rider who is close to retirement to build up the project. Then, if you go through the rankings and find the guy who was sixth in the championship is ready to work hard, is of the right age, there a lot of logical points around his name, and he was on top of our list.”

And while Smith might have been top of their shopping list, it wasn’t his willingness to ride for KTM that sealed the deal so easily; rather, it was the manner with which the Oxfordshire rider has approached the project so far.

“The whole conversation with him was a pleasure. He showed up at the workshop personally, with no management with him – and that made us so confident from the start. We didn’t talk first about money – he showed up, we spoke, and he liked what he saw; but I liked that this young rider had come alone to see me.”

For a full feature on Smith’s move for 2017, see today Wednesday 30th March’s Motorcycle News.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer