Bradley Smith qualified in an excellent sixth position for the final race of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship as the series newcomer maintained his strong finish to the campaign.

Smith powered into third position on the time sheets in Valencia with two minutes of the final qualifying session remaining following a superb lap in 1m 31.201s before dropping three places in the closing stages, equalling his best qualifying performance of sixth place.

Nonetheless, it was a terrific effort from the British rider on the Yamaha Tech 3 M1, who was struggling this afternoon before some key changes paid dividends at the Spanish circuit.

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"Today has been a bit of a struggle to be honest. We tried a lot of things to improve the bike without any positive results, so for this afternoon we opted for a mix of today's set-up and yesterday's when I knew I was strong," said Smith, whose time was only 0.088s slower than team-mate Cal Crutchlow.

"As soon as I put the soft rear tyre in I felt really good and I put in a terrific lap. When I saw I was third fastest so close to the end of the session I thought I might get my best qualifying position.

"But I am really happy to be in the top six again and that equals my best grid position of the season."

Smith is aiming to make a fast start tomorrow as he strives to round out a solid debut year in MotoGP on a high.

"Hopefully I can get another good start like in the past races because tomorrow will be certainly tough with the hard tyre," he said.

"I'm confident I will be more competitive and for sure I will give it my all and try to finish as close as possible to the front."