Bradley Smith will make his eagerly anticipated return to racing this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix after a severe knee injury forced the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider to sit out on the past three MotoGP races.
Smith, who was set to compete in the Oschersleben 8H endurance race as a once off for the YART racing team, had his appearance cut short as the Brit crashed and struck another rider during the opening free practice session, resulting in acute ligament damage to his knee and a gash to his right leg.
The Englishman was then forced to miss the next three MotoGP weekends which included his home Grand Prix at Silverstone. While recuperating from his injury, Smith was replaced by compatriot Alex Lowes who is brother to Sam Lowes in the Moto2 Category.
The Yamaha rider has proved many people wrong with his recovery as experts thought it would be a minimum of eight weeks before Smith would be able to get back on a bike after undergoing surgery early in September.
Smith admitted it will take him time to readjust to his YZR-M1 but the Briton is determined to achieve the best result possible.
“I am excited about jumping back on my YZR-M1 and even though I know it will be a challenging race, I am determined and I will do my very best. It will be the first time that I can ride a MotoGP bike after seven weeks and even though I am almost fit, it will take me a bit of time to fully adjust to being back on the Yamaha. This will be the initial goal of the weekend, but I am confident that I can quickly get up to speed again,” Smith said.
“Japan is a special place, with it being the home of Yamaha and also the country where I won the Suzuka 8 Hours event last year. Plus, the fans are fantastic and really supportive which will motivate me even further. However, I know this weekend will be physically demanding due to the stop and go nature of the circuit, plus, there are a lot of hard braking corners but I am certain that we can start the flyaway races positively before we head to Phillip Island.”