Legendary motorcycle racer Paul Smart passed away Oct. 27 following a road traffic collision while riding his motorcycle in East Sussex and Kent near his home in England. He was 78.
A much-loved and respected racer, Smart was best known for winning the 1972 Imola 200 for Ducati, but he also enjoyed success with Suzuki, Triumph, Kawasaki and Yamaha factories, both in Europe and America until he retired in 1978.
A statement from the family read:
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 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.. Paul is survived by his wife of 50 years Maggie (the late Barry Sheene’s sister), daughter Paula and son Scott, the current FIM Superbike Technical Director.