While most MotoGP teams held their final pre-season test in Qatar the official Honda, Yamaha and Ducati Factory teams completed a special tyre test at Phillip Island.

The special Australian test was arranged to avoid a repeat of last year's tyre debacle, the knock-on effect of which was that - by not testing at Losail - the non-Factory teams had a head start in terms of set-up for the season-opening Qatar night race.

Bradley Smith was among those to make the most of the chance, claimed a first ever front row start and then fighting for a debut podium until a late fall.

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However the Englishman fears the tables will be turned this weekend, with the Factory teams exploiting their extra test knowledge down under.

"I am feeling optimistic for this upcoming race as I really enjoyed riding there last year aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1," Smith said. "However, we have to stay grounded and be a bit cautious of our hopes and expectations because the Factory teams were testing there at the beginning of the year, so they will have the upper hand and more data than the rest of us."

While the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders have been a step ahead of the satellite riders in dry conditions this season, the likes of Smith and team-mate Pol Espargaro have been capable of fighting the Factory Ducatis.

Smith continued: "In general, the track suits the nature of the Yamaha, it's fast and flowing with not so many hard braking points, therefore, I am sure we can have a strong run here.

"We have made some good steps forward recently with the bike as well as my riding style so it will be interesting to see the comparison to last year and the level of progression we have made.

"In addition, I am very happy to be racing three consecutive weekends as I won't be at home just waiting for the next race to come. It means we, as riders, don't go stale and remain sharp plus are totally ready for the action."

Smith in tenth in the world championship, but just four points behind LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl. Espargaro is the leading satellite rider in sixth.