Bradley Smith achieved his goal of finishing his first MotoGP race in Austin after the disappointment of a DNF at the opening round in Qatar.

Smith crossed the line in 12th position, setting a fastest lap during the race that was 0.3s quicker than his qualifying time.

The Tech 3 Yamaha rider finished ahead of Ben Spies and just under two seconds down on Aleix Espargaro on the Aspar ART in 11th.

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Series rookie Smith said he benefitted invaluably from the experience of completing a full race and now intends to push on at the next round at Jerez in Spain and bridge the gap to the top ten.

"I am really happy to finish the race because what I learned over a full race distance was priceless," said Smith.

"I ran the hard front tyre on the advice of Bridgestone and while it was definitely the right choice, it took me a few laps to understand how it was working.

"The last thing I needed was to push too hard and make another mistake like in Qatar but the best thing about the race is I got faster and faster.

"I was quicker as in qualifying on the penultimate lap of the race, and that's a sign of how much better I was riding the bike," he added.

Smith's points-scoring result has given the British rider a confidence boost for round three at Jerez in May.

"I am learning more and more about the bike on each lap and I can go to Jerez now confident that I can be even more competitive and the goal will be to get closer to the top 10," he said.

"Finally I can't praise my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team enough.

"After the garage fire on Wednesday night it really put everybody on the back foot, but we all rallied round and it is nice to see both Cal [Crutchlow] and I finish in the points to reward their hard work."