Ahead of opening Practice at Misano, Aprilia has announced that Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith will be their test rider for 2019.
Bradley Smith will remain in the MotoGP paddock for 2019 but as a test rider for Italian manufacturer Aprilia.
Smith stepped up to the premier class in 2013 with Herve Poncheral’s Tech 3 Yamaha team before joining the Factory KTM Team in 2017, helping the Austrian team progress throughout there two seasons.
The 27-year-old struggled to get to grips with his RC16 throughout 2017 and also struggled in the opening half of the 2018 season, causing his place at KTM to become under threat from Frenchman Johann Zarco, who later signed for the Orange manufacturer.
Once Zarco had put pen to paper, Smith was eyeing up a return to Yamaha with the brand new SIC Petronas team but it was clear they wanted Morbidelli, due to his links with 9x world champion Valentino Rossi and youngun Fabio Quartararo.
With the Yamaha seats taken, Smith was then contemplating retirement, test rider or a role in the all-new Motoe World Cup. But ahead of the opening session of the 13th round, Aprilia and Smith have announced their partnership for 2019.
In a press release given out by Aprilia, they said Smith would have a “series” of Wildcards, but we are not sure if he will be given the five he requested.
Bradley Smith had been in with a chance of joining the KTM test rider scheme but they announced they would be scaling back its wildcard outings from next year due to the test team becoming too distracted.
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