Britain’s Bradley Smith has confirmed live on BT Sport that he has signed for the new KTM MotoGP project for both the 2016 and 2017 MotoGP seasons.

Rumours had been flying around the paddock that both Pol Espargaro and Smith had been told that their Tech 3 Yamaha contracts would not be renewed by team owner Herve Poncharal. Therefore, this news could confirm that Pol is also going to leave the French team.

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Smith is currently in his fourth season in the premier class, after moving up with Tech 3 from their Moto2 team. He’s managed only two podiums in his MotoGP career, with a third place at Phillip Island in 2014 and a second placed finish at Misano last year.

The Brit becomes KTM’s first signing for next year, as the Austrian manufacturer makes it return to the premier class. KTM last raced with Team Roberts in 2005 but withdrew their support halfway through the season.