Injured MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith suffered a tough opening day at Catalunya in Spain that included a heavy crash from his Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1.
The Englishman ended the day in 14th position following the opening free practice sessions and Smith is aiming to rebuild his self-assurance after injuring his left hand and wrist after heavy falls during the previous round at Mugello in Italy.
Smith, 12th fastest in FP1 this morning, said: “Today was another tough day. I am not feeling so confident with the setting and I am missing some confidence myself.
“I am lucky I didn't damage my body in the crash because it was another big fall. I lost the front and as I tried to save it the rear tyre gripped and threw me off.
“The bike hit my left knee and that's why I was limping in the gravel but luckily I am fine,” he added.
The British rookie wasn't sure whether his hand injuries were a factor in today's fall.
"Third crash in four days...it's not a good run," said Smith. "I'm not sure at the moment whether it is a case of being injured and compensating for the injury, or not having the power to hold myself in the normal position. I'm just not feeling at home [on the bike]."
Smith went on to comment about how Yamaha has looked to evolve the settings of the YZR-M1 this year with other riders changing the balance and centre of gravity of their bikes:
"Yamaha moved away from the setting they had at the start of the year so we need to start moving towards that setting. It's different in terms of weight balance and the centre of gravity and we need to try and follow that direction.
At a track like this where you have to make the tyre work and I think that we're not making it work. It feels like I'm riding on marbles the whole time. These bikes are so particular and if you're riding it scared it knows; it's like a dog!"