MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith rounded out the top ten on the Yamaha Tech 3 M1 and then vowed to make 'drastic changes' in a bid to climb the leaderboard at Sepang in final practice and qualifying on Saturday.

Smith finished behind the Ducati pair of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso on the satellite YZR-M1 on the opening day with a lap in 2m 02.551s.

The British rider focused on fine-tuning a new, smoother braking technique, which he first experimented with at the previous round at Motorland Aragon.

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"After testing twice at Sepang in the winter I was looking forward to coming back here to understand how much progress I have made in my rookie season," he said.

"It is nice to be riding on a track where I've got previous experience of riding the YZR-M1 and although I wasn't able to lap as fast as I did in February, my consistency has improved a lot and that is a positive point.

"I did a lot of 2.02 laps and I am happy with my pace, but we will look at making some more drastic changes tomorrow to take another step into the 2.01s," he added.

"I've probably improved by one second per lap on old tyres [relative to the pre-season test] so that's good
I'm much smoother on the bike, especially on old tyres, and I feel so much more in control than I did [at the start of the year] when I always felt on the limit of a crash whereas today I was just putting the bike where I wanted it and doing the same lap times.

"In terms of rider effort I'm feeling a lot more at home. It's a conscious effort to change your riding style but there's definitely a benefit to it and you have to keep doing it and it's more of an incentive to the rider to keep doing it."