• Ducati Racer Paul Smart Dies

  • Paul Smart Dies Legendary racer gave Ducati its first major victory with the v-twin 750 SS
  • Ducati 750SS Imola Iconic race bike that help found a dynasty
  • Smart Raced Until 1978 He was always well liked for his friendly personality
  • Ducati Paul Smart 1000 Replica LE Launched in 2006 in honour of Smart's victory

The man who gave Ducati its first major win killed in motorcycle accident

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Paul Smart, famous for winning the Imola 200 for Ducati - the company’s first major win for its new v-twin engine - has died after a road crash.

Ducati Racer Paul Smart Has Died

Ducati Racer Paul Smart Dies
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Paul Smart Dies
Legendary racer gave Ducati its first major victory with the v-twin 750 SS

It is unfortunate that, only a few days after writing about the victory at Imola in 1972 of Paul Smart aboard the Ducati 750 SS, the company’s first major victory for the V-twin engine and the one that really put the manufacturer on the map, we have to report the death of Paul Smart, the man who raced that bike to victory.

Smart was out riding his motorcycle, as he did every day despite being 78, when he was involved in a road accident.

Ducati Racer Paul Smart Dies
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Ducati 750SS Imola
Iconic race bike that help found a dynasty

Smart started racing at an early age and, by 1967, he had finished second in the 750cc Production class TT in the Isle of Man, riding a Dunstall Norton Atlas, a feat he repeated in 1969.

Ducati Racer Paul Smart Dies
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Smart Raced Until 1978
He was always well liked for his friendly personality

He became a fixture on the British racing scene before being approached by Ducati to ride the new v-twin engined 750 Super Sport in the Imola 200 mile race. At first he declined but then agreed. He was immediately popular with the Italian mechanics and mastered the riding technique needed to get the best out of the machine. The race was a fantastic dice with his team mate Bruno Spaggiari: they raced neck and neck for the whole race until Spaggiari, having gambled on taking on less fuel in order to stay in touch, ran dry with only a couple of laps to go. He still finished second but it was Smart who was the hero of the day - then and for evermore - in the hearts of Ducati.

Ducati Racer Paul Smart Dies
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Ducati Paul Smart 1000 Replica LE
Launched in 2006 in honour of Smart’s victory

He continued racing up to 1978 and then went into business. He married Barry Sheene’s sister Maggie and they had two children, Scott and Paula.

In 2006, Ducati released the Paul Smart 1000 Replica LE in honour of that first victory, based on the 100 Sport S.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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