Legendary Ducati rider Paul Smart, 78, has sadly passed away after being involved in a road traffic accident.
The former British Grand Prix rider was best known for winning the Imola 200 with Ducati, with the Italian marque releasing a special Paul Smart 1000LE in 2006 in honour of Paul’s victory. Paul also enjoyed success with the likes of Suzuki, Triumph, Kawasaki and Yamaha before he retired in 1978.
Paul’s son, Scott Smart, is FIM Technical Director in WorldSBK and a former British Superbikes race winner.
A statement from Paul’s family said:
It is with huge sadness we have to report that Paul lost his life in a road traffic collision earlier this afternoon while riding his motorcycle in East Sussex and Kent.
The police and coroner are investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident.
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.