Bradley Smith endured a disappointing debut in Qatar after the Tech 3 Yamaha rider crashed unhurt on the fifth lap.

Smith had been lying in 11th place when he went down at corner seven, bringing his maiden race in the MotoGP class to an unceremonious conclusion at Losail.

The Briton had made a lightning start off the line, passing Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez to move into the top six.

However, as Smith attempted to settle into a rhythm, he lost the front of his M1.

"It is frustrating to crash out of my first MotoGP race so early because I need to be gaining all the experience I can.

"We changed the bike for tonight and the bike was much better on corner entry," said Smith, who qualified in ninth position.

"Unfortunately I lost the front at Turn 7 and I was down. I'd had a couple of warnings and I will know for the future that I am close to the limit when that happens."

Smith will focus on the positives of a satisfying qualifying performance as he now looks ahead to the second race in Austin Texas, in two weeks' time.

"There are a lot more positives than negatives to come out of this weekend but I can't deny it would have been great to start the year with a top 10 finish," he said.

"We move onto the next race in Austin where the goal again will be to build up my experience and learn more about the bike."

Tech 3 team manager, Herve Poncharal, said that although Smith's accident was a blow, he remains confident the British rider will become a regular top 10 finisher this season.

"It was a big shame for Bradley because it would have been good to start the championship inside the top 10," he said.

"He really could have picked up a lot of information to get more experience to learn from, but these things can happen and the crash shouldn't detract from the fact that he had a very encouraging weekend that bodes well for the future.

"We are looking forward to seeing his development during the next races but I've no doubt he is going to be regular inside the top 10."