Rookie Bradley Smith says he has gained a significant amount of confidence from his run to sixth position in the German MotoGP, matching his best result of the season.

Smith made a strong start to get into seventh place initially before making progress to sixth ahead of Aleix Espargaro.

It was a position he held to the chequered flag, Smith finishing well ahead of the factory Ducatis, only four seconds adrift of Alvaro Bautista on the Gresini Honda and 25secs from the leaders - the smallest margin of his rookie season so far.

Related Articles

Having now notched up six consecutive top ten finishes, Smith says he is feeling increasingly confident on the Tech 3 Yamaha and feels he can close the gap on Bautista in the coming races.

"I am truly happy with this sixth place" he said. "I got a good start and I was really pleased with my pace for most of the race. It is particularly pleasing because this is a track where I expected to struggle more because it has a lot of left-hand corners and you are constantly pushing with the left part of your body. That's where my injury is but I felt strong for the whole race.

"I'm also pleased that we managed to reduce the gap to the winner by another seven seconds and I think 25 seconds is not too bad at the moment. There were so many positives but I had a little bit of an issue with rear grip and I think we can still improve our setting to make that better.

"I still believe I did a really good job and now the next objective is to get closer to Bautista on the satellite Honda. This result has given me a lot of confidence and I am really looking forward to going to Laguna Seca. It is a very difficult track and while I did test there earlier this year on a production bike I am still expecting a tough weekend."

Smith is 11th in the MotoGP standings, just seven points behind Bautista in eighth place.