The last time Bradley Smith rode a MotoGP bike he set the second fastest lap time behind new world champion Marc Marquez, on the final day of 2013 testing at Valencia.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider is determined to continue that momentum when he takes to the track for the first time this year, during official testing at Sepang in Malaysia from Tuesday to Thursday.

"If that second place in the Valencia test is already the starting level, then we [Tech 3] have got to take the opportunity with both hands and see where we can end up," said Smith, who claimed a best race and qualifying result of sixth during his rookie MotoGP season.

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"I can't wait to get started again and I'm in a lot better situation than I was last year. I was really apprehensive, quite nervous and not sure what to expect. This year I'm a lot more relaxed."

With Cal Crutchlow moving to Ducati, Smith will be joined at Tech 3 by Moto2 world champion Pol Espargaro.