Bradley Smith made a stunning start to his preparations for the Catalunya MotoGP as the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 shot to the top of the times in FP2.

The British prospect's best time of 1m 42.123s launched him from 12th to first place in the dying minutes of the session, leaving Smith second overall behind Aleix Espargaro at the conclusion of the opening day in Spain.

Smith, who was only 0.007s ahead of Stefan Bradl in second place and 0.151s quicker than third-placed Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez, said: "To finish in first in FP2 is certainly great. I am pleased as we undertook some key work in Mugello and the results are shining through here as well.

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"The setting is very positive with the bike although I wasn't able to show it last time unfortunately. The main thing we looked at today was the front contact, the turning of the bike as well as front tyre choices.

"There are still a few areas we need to make some small adjustments on such as the balance and how it behaves in sector four of the circuit, which is a bit tough," he added.

"Overall, I feel confident and happier plus I enjoy Barcelona as I run strongly here. It's been a tricky few races but we have always worked hard and now I aim to keep this positive momentum for this weekend and the next few MotoGP races and continue to try my best."

Smith's time on the YZR-M1 is already an improvement of almost half a second than he managed in qualifying in 2013.