KYLE SMITH will be looking to make a big impact next summer in sunny Spain – and beyond.
The 21-year-old racer hails from Fenay Bridge but, after moving to Spain with his family at the age of seven, he has been burning up the Iberian tracks and has enjoyed another very successful season in 2012.
After Kawasaki Cup success the previous year, Smith turned his attention to the Campeonato De Espana Velocidad’s Stock Extreme class this season.
It turned out to be a fantastic campaign for Smith, who was riding a Kawasaki for the BST Wild Wolf Race Team in the 1000cc competition.
He started the season in superb style by winning the first race of the year at Jerez and ended strongly too as he ensured that he ended the season runner-up in the championship with second place in the final outing of the year in Valencia.
And he went into that final round of the CEV Buckler-backed championship needing a good ride.
While Kawasaki JHK Laglisse team rider Carmelo Morales Gomez had already tied up the title, Smith needed to fend off the challenge from Xavi Fores, Santiago Barragan and Adrian Bonastre to retain the runner-up slot.
While BMW Motorrad rider Fores won the race by four seconds, Smith’s second place saw him finish with 103 points to his closest rival’s 97.
And his impressive showing has seen him snapped up to ride in the World Moto2 class next summer.
Smith is joining the Blusens Avintia team, with whom he has already done tests in the south coast city of Almeria, and he will be teamed with Toni Elias – the 2010 Moto2 World Champion.
“It is great for Kyle and he will be heading all over the world,” said proud grandad Terry Binns.
“He has been travelling all over Spain the past few years, which seemed exotic enough to me, but next season it looks as though he will be going to places like Qatar – and the series’ season is scheduled to start in Argentina.”
And Smith is also keen to get started, while admitting he will need to adapt to the new bike.
“I am really happy to be with the team,” said Smith. “It’s like a dream to be riding among the best riders in the world.
“It’s the first time I have ridden a Moto2 and it’s quite different from the kind of bike I usually ride, so I have to gradually adapt.”
However, the season did come with a measure of pain for Smith, who is based in Calpe north of Alicante.
The week before round four in Barcelona this summer Smith dislocated his shoulder riding in a Super Moto race, but despite the discomfort he managed a fifth place finish.
The injury has led to him heading back to Barcelona at the season’s end to see a sports specialist, but again it was good news as fears that his shoulder would need a major operation have been dispelled and a keyhole operation should rectify the problem in plenty of time to begin the build up to the 2013 campaign.