It is with a heavy heart today that we have to report the passing of Paul Smart, the affable and legendary grand prix and TT racer.
Smart died in a traffic accident while riding his motorcycle in East Sussex and Kent, in an incident that is still being investigated by English police.
Known best for his Imola 200 win in 1972, onboard a 750cc Ducati race bike, the Brit then became intertwined in the Italian brand’s racing history, which culminated in Ducati naming a creation after him in 2006, which was styled to look like his race-winning machine from several decades earlier.
Racing for three years in the grand prix championships, Smart tallied 7 podiums to his name, from 10 race starts. He also scored a number of podiums at the Isle of Man TT.
A statement from the Smart family reads the following:
“Paul was a hugely popular character in and out of the paddock, and much loved by his family, friends and fans around the world. He was 78.
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.
Paul is survived by wife Maggie, son Scott and daughter Paula who kindly request their privacy is respected at this difficult time.”
We wish the best for Paul Smart’s family and friends, as we mourn the passing of this two-wheeled icon.