By Stephen English

MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith qualified a career best sixth after a superb qualifying effort at Assen on Friday.

The Englishman now aims to use the second row getaway in order to learn from the leading stars during Saturday's Dutch race.

"We took a massive advantage of the situation we found ourselves in," admitted the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider. "We did a good job in FP1 to go straight into the top ten and Q2.

"The bike is working well, judging by Jorge's speed yesterday and Cal getting pole today. We're still a second off the pace but with my injuries and this track layout I'm pleased with getting the second row.

"With a good start I could make up a few positions and then learn from the factory boys."

Smith will start alongside world championship leader Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha).

"I need to follow them for as long as I can. Any information that I can gain from those guys will be invaluable for the rest of the season," he said. "It's the first time I've put myself into the hunt to follow them and it will be a good opportunity that I shouldn't mess up.

"It's a great achievement to start on the second row but that's why I need to make sure that my first laps are good so that I can learn from those riders. Anything I learn, especially from Valentino being on a Yamaha, would be critical and could help for the rest of the year."

Smith is still carrying wrist and finger injuries, which he said were feeling worse this weekend.

Former 125GP winner Smith claimed a best MotoGP finish of sixth last time in Catalunya.