MotoGP needs football-style transfer window - Smith

KTM rider Bradley Smith has called for MotoGP to have a football-style transfer window as rider market speculation for the 2019 season ramps up.

MotoGP needs football-style transfer window - Smith
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

This year's 'silly season' is set to be frantic, as almost the entire grid - including all 12 factory riders - are out of contract for the 2019 campaign.

In 2016, numerous major deals were announced early in the season, with Smith agreeing a switch to join the fledgling KTM outfit prior to the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix getting underway.

With rumours already circulating regarding 2019 negotiations, Smith reckons the unpredictable nature of the 2017 season makes discussing rider contracts so early "crazy" - and thinks a transfer window would stop this from happening.

“We're always going to talk about contracts,” said Smith. "If you believe some of the rumours in the paddock, then the merry-go-round has started already.

“I was actually speaking with Marc [Marquez] on the flight back from Malaysia, and it just becomes crazy.

“When you look at this season as a whole I would say three different manufacturers were looking the strongest at three different points of the season.

“So to be speaking about it already now, you don't even know what's going to come next year, tyre wise we don't know what's going to come.

"There almost should be a window and then we should start speaking during that window, and that's where people should make their decisions - not three seasons before, already deciding what you're going to do for the next couple of years.”

Smith was at the centre of speculation during the 2017 season as rumours surfaced of KTM dropping him in favour of test rider Mika Kallio following a tough run of results.

The team eventually confirmed the Briton's two-year deal would be honoured, though he found the period prior to this difficult to manage as the press constantly pressured him on the matter.

“The worst part of the day was coming and speaking to you guys [the media], I'm gonna be honest, because you guys wouldn't let off the questions so on and so forth," he said.

“When you know the situation isn't what it should be, when people carry on pushing the button, of course it's not going to be easy.

“I knew I needed to find my way with the bike and with the team, and I would see finally the last few races, those performances have got better.

“It's certainly made life a little bit easier when the guys made the announcement and made everything clear just before Japan."

Additional reporting by Gerald Dirnbeck 

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