It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of a fellow racing enthusiast in the motorcycle community. 78-year-old ex-racer Paul Smart was riding his motorcycle when an accident occurred, costing his life.
The man was known for winning the 1972 Imola 200 for Ducati, as well as enjoying various successes in GP and at the TT in his earlier years.
“Paul was a hugely popular character in and out of the paddock, and much loved by his family, friends and fans around the world,” reads the family statement.
“He will forever be synonymous with Ducati, the Italian brand he propelled to international acclaim with victory in the 1972 Imola 200 race.”
“Paul also shared a special affinity with the Brands Hatch circuit, having lived literally next door in West Kingsdown for many years. So much more can and will be written in the days and weeks ahead about a life well lived that has been tragically curtailed.”
The article from MCN states that Smart even outdid Giacomo Agostini and his MV Agusta 500cc race bike – and Ducati honoured his victory with the Paul Smart 1000 LE special edition bike in 2006, styled with an aesthetic to mimic the graphics of his 1972 machine that took the Imola 200.
Here’s a skimmable list of the brilliant man’s accomplishments during his career – a total of seven podiums under his belt, from the 250cc, 350cc and 500cc GP categories.
- Finished second in the 1967 Production 750cc TT race on a Norton (he did this twice consecutively)
- Finished third at the Isle of Man GP on a 350cc Padgett Yamaha
- Finished second at the Finnish Grand Prix and Ulster Grand Prix on a 250cc machine
- Finished third in the 1970 Junior TT on a Yamaha
- Finished second in the 250cc and 350cc races at the 1971 Swedish Grand Prix
- Finished second in the 350cc class in West Germany
- Finished third in the 350cc class in East Germany
The statement goes on to report that Paul is survived by wife Maggie, son Scott and daughter Paula “who kindly request their privacy is respected at this difficult time.”