Sunday's Indianapolis MotoGP saw a spectacular start and finish for rookie Bradley Smith.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider shot from seventh to fourth on the opening lap - behind only title fighters Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.

However rear grip problems then saw him plummet to tenth by lap 6 of 27, where he remained until the final turn of the race.

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It was then that Smith's persistence in keeping pace with Factory Ducati riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso paid off.

The pair clashed on entry to the start-finish straight, allowing Smith to pass them both as the trio charged for the line.

"Obviously, the start was mega, up into fourth at the first corner, so I'm really happy with that performance," said Smith. "But we had a rear-end problem. From the second lap, it just got gradually worse and worse. Unfortunately, these types of things are out of your control. It's one of those things.

"I tried to maintain my pace but unfortunately I ran off in at Turn 6 and a few guys passed me. I tried to recover again but the rear problem was getting worse and at the end of the race I could only try to pass the Ducatis.

"I was a bit lucky that they ran wide [after contact with each other] in the last corner, so I could pass both on the final straight.

"Eighth is not a bad result but I'm a little bit disappointed because we did a really good job during the whole weekend and I was very confident for the race. Now I just hope I can carry the good performances from practice and qualifying into Brno."

Team manager Herve Poncharal added: "Bradley's start was unbelievable and it was great to see him right in the heart of the action so early. At the end he was never letting the Ducati pair relax for a second and a bit like in Assen he took full advantage of a mistake at the final corner."

Smith is tenth in the world championship and 13 points behind Hayden in ninth, heading into this weekend's Czech Republic round. Smith's team-mate Cal Crutchlow finished in fifth.