BRADLEY Smith will race an R1 this weekend in the QMMF national championship.
Smith steps up to MotoGP this season to partner Cal Crutchlow and in doing so replaces Andrea Dovizioso who replaces Valentino Rossi at Ducati. Smith has spent two seasons with the Tech3 squad in Moto2 and finished at Qatar in 9th place last season, just 10.8 seconds off race winner Marc Marquez.
Smith will race in two 15-lap championship races. His Middle East tour continues to Abu Dhabi where he will ride at the Yas Marina circuit, then onto Dubai to ride and instruct at trackdays.
"I’m so looking forward to this trip – helping up and coming riders, riding new circuits which I’ve only seen on the television and to be honest enjoying a bit of sunshine," explained Bradley before flying out.
"I’ve been pushing really hard to make this happen. Of course it’s great preparation for me before MotoGP testing gets underway in Sepang but also I’m certain there is some real racing talent in that part of the world."
Smith’s first MotoGP test of the season starts at Sepang in Malaysia on February 5.The first grand prix of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship is under the floodlights at the Losail International circuit in Qatar on April 7.