Bradley Smith clinched a strong seventh place at the Aragon MotoGP as the series rookie finished ahead of factory Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden.

Smith had struggled somewhat in free practice on the Yamaha Tech 3 M1 on Friday, ending the day in 13th position, but the 22-year-old made big strides over the course of the weekend in Spain, culminating in a solid result.

"The positive point of today is that we scored our best result since Sachsenring and altogether it was good to stay in front of the Ducatis and especially to pull away from them at the end of the race was a nice feeling," said Smith.

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"I still believe that we have some more potential to improve our race setting. This will surely be our main aim for the flyaway races and I have no doubt that we will progress is this area.

"But all in all I can't be unsatisfied with this weekend, especially considering how tough Friday was, when things did not really go according to plan, so to travel to Malaysia with a seventh position in my luggage is not too bad."