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Qatar MotoGP: Smith happy, 'moving in right direction'

4 April 2013

Bradley Smith is taking the positives from a 'satisfactory' performance on his competitive debut for the Tech 3 Yamaha team after clocking the 11th fastest time during FP1 in Qatar.

The MotoGP newcomer ended the opening session 1.6s behind frontrunner and factory Yamaha ace Jorge Lorenzo at the head of the field and less than half-a-second behind Ducati's Nicky Hayden in 10th.

Smith devoted the majority of the 45-minute session on track at Losail to learning the circuit and identifying his braking markers, completing 18 laps and posting a fastest time of 1m 58.368s.

The British prospect finished ahead of Pramac Ducati pair Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies.

“I'm really happy with my performance in my very first practice session in MotoGP,” said Smith.

“It's nice just to get rid of the initial nerves and tension that has been building up as you get ready for the beginning of the season.

"With such little time on track in 45 minutes we didn't tweak the bike too much.

“I just wanted to get familiar with the track because the lines and braking points are completely different to what I am used to in Moto2,” he added.

“Being on track with the rest of the field at the same time helps because I can pick up some pointers and I'll watch a video of the session again to understand where I can improve and be faster for FP2 and FP3, where it will be important to finish in the top 10 for the new qualifying format.

“I'm satisfied with my position though and I am not a million miles behind Nicky and 1.6s off the best pace is the closest I have been since I first rode this bike, so that shows I am moving in the right direction.”