Fastest on Friday afternoon, Bradley Smith was left bitterly disappointed by a 'mysterious' problem that robbed him of pace in Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider, who qualified eighth on the grid but only half a second from pole, crossed the finish line in tenth position.

Smith's issues were illustrated by setting his fastest lap of the race on lap 23 of 25. All other riders, with the exception of replacement Michel Fabrizio (lap 13), set their best time within the opening five laps.

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"It wasn't good. We had a mysterious problem," said Smith. "No pace. About one second off where we expected our lap time to be. We didn't change anything from warm-up to the race. We ran exactly the same setting, but were doing low 1m 44s at the beginning of the race but the last five laps were '43.5s.

"We were nowhere near where we needed or expected to be. I did a '43.1s on full race distance tyres in the last lap of warm-up, which was competitive today. Not to follow the front four, but certainly not far away.

"I'm obviously very angry. Very frustrated. But it was nothing that was in my hands, or the hands of the team."

Pressed further on the possible cause of his problems, Smith added: "We're still looking at the data. It was just a grip issue, more from the rear... We didn't touch anything! The bike didn't do what I needed to do for the whole race.

"We were fine in the warmer temperature yesterday afternoon. It's something that is not to do with the track, not to do with my team, but what puts me and my bike between me and the race track..."

Meaning tyres.

Looking ahead to Monday's test, Smith doesn't expect any new parts but will work further on set-up.

"We'll try a few settings from the factory team to try and improve the bike, but to be honest my setting with Valentino [Rossi] is very close. They pretty much went my direction after he followed me in Free Practice 3. It meant that we were doing a good job and today that bike was fighting for a podium. I'm not saying I could of, but my bike should definitely have been good enough for fifth."

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A 'mysterious' problem?
The bike is good.
The rider is not.
Can't see much of a mystery in that.