British GP2 Championship outfit Spirit Motorcycles has issued a strongly-worded statement shaming ex-MotoGP rider Bradley Smith over his late decision to back out of a planned race outing at Snetterton, only to compete at a Motocross event.
Smith – one of the few British riders to have competed at the highest level of motorcycle racing during the four-stroke MotoGP era – was announced as making a surprise wild-card appearance at Snetterton in the GP2 series, a prototype sub-class raced within the British Supersport Championship.
However, Smith was not present at Snetterton at all, with Spirit revealing it had been informed he wouldn’t be performing at the last minute, despite testing its machine only two days earlier with no mention of a plan to back out.
With Spirit saying it put in significant time and effort to build a new bike for Smith, it says conversations with others have since revealed he had ‘no intention of racing’ and that he was spotted competing at a Motocross event instead.
Calling out his lack of professionalism and accusing him of lacking respect, Spirit didn’t hold back in sharing its opinion of the double MotoGP podium winner.
“Bradley Smith had been scheduled to race the Spirit SP2 at Snetterton this weekend, but he informed the team’s management by email on Thursday morning that he would not be participating at the event.
“We were therefore extremely shocked and disappointed to learn that he was in competition elsewhere in the UK this weekend at a Motocross event.
“It appears clear to us from this revelation (and from learning of conversations he had with people in attendance at the British Grand Prix) that he never had any intention of riding for us at Snetterton.
“A huge amount of time, money and effort was put in by the team to firstly build a brand-new bike for Bradley and then prepare for the event with two test days.
“On the completion of the second test last Tuesday, just a few days before the event, nothing was mentioned abut not racing at Snetterton.
“The team is disappointed by the lack of professionalism displayed and the disrespect he has shown to all of us.”
The motivation behind the outing was part of a deal that will see Smith’s 109 Project team – which he runs with Claudio Corti – enter Spirit machinery in the Italian Moto2 series. It remains to be seen whether this incident affects the outcome of this deal.