Bradley Smith offers update after horror Le Mans 24H crash

Ex-MotoGP rider Bradley Smith has spoken publicly for the first time after his horrifying crash at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend.

Bradley Smith accident EWC

Bradley Smith has offered his first public thoughts after his crash at the Le Mans 24 Hours last weekend. 

Smith was riding for the #96 Moto Ain Yamaha team, with Corentin Perolari and Claudio Corti, and the team had been inside the top six or seven for most of the weekend at the French track. 

Bradley Smith, Claudio Corti, Corentin Perolari - Moto Ain Yamaha

Eventually, the #96 qualified seventh, but in typical Yamaha fashion they suffered a difficult getaway on the sprint-start. One of the privateers - the Superstock-class BMW of the Seigneur Motorsport Team Mont Blanc, ridden at the time by Christophe Seigneur - who had started at the back had gotten away better, and hit Smith who was travelling much slower as he got underway. 

Smith went down and after he was eventually able to be moved by the medical staff at the track, he was reported to be conscious, and taken to hospital

Since then, there has been little news of Smith’s condition, but yesterday he put out an update on Instagram. 

“Just like to say a big thanks to everyone that helped, looked after and supported me during the last 36 hours,” Smith said. He continued, “It was one hell of an impact, and I'm lucky to be in 1 piece. Now I'm heading back home to begin my rehab.”

Smith is scheduled to compete in the MotoE World Cup this year the the RNF team, but with the season starting with three races in May, there is now uncertainty surrounding his participation, since it seems unlikely at the moment that he will be able to compete in those first three races, one of which is in Le Mans.

The incident caused a significant period behind the safety car in the first hour of the 24 Heures Motos, which was eventually won by Yoshimura SERT Suzuki - with Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli and Xavier Simeon - for the second year in succession despite them running out of fuel early on in the race. 

Smith’s fellow Brit Gino Rea - along with his teammates Mike di Meglio and Josh Hook - was able to finish on the podium in third place despite him crashing the #5 FCC TSR Honda France Fireblade, and it suffering a broken exhaust silencer in the night.

Between SERT and TSR was the #7 YART Yamaha team (with Niccolo Canepa, Karel Hanika and Marvin Fritz), who were second and had the pace to run with SERT, but suffered what is becoming an almost traditional poor start. They were almost last at the end of the first lap, and considering they lost the race by around one lap - losing time getting the bike restarted in the pits at every stop - it is possible to conclude that they could have won if not for the bad start.