'I'm very excited by the launch of the Asia Talent Cup,' says Smith, a consistent top ten finisher in his maiden MotoGP season with Monster Yamaha Tech3. 'It's a very good infrastructure. I've been part of the MotoGP Academy, so I know what this type of opportunity gives to young riders. It especially helps the transition from a national championship to a World Championship; the way the team is run is very professional, you ride very similar bikes to the World Championship and some of the same tracks as the World Championship.'
'I believe this could be very positive. Considering the MotoGP Academy was started in 2005 when I was taking part, we can expect within the next five to eight years some really good talent coming out of Asia which is only positive for our World Championship. Like I managed to do, we might be seeing some of those riders coming into MotoGP', so I'm excited and very happy to see this championship starting up.'
The inaugural Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup of 2014 will see riders racing in Qatar, Indonesia, China, Japan, Malaysia and India.