The midfield battle in MotoGP looks set to be very competitive during tomorrow's Malaysian MotoGP and even though Bradley Smith could only manage ninth on the grid he is still 'excited for the race'.

Today's track conditions were extreme for the MotoGP riders with Bridgestone confirming that qualifying was held on the hottest track surface so far in 2014. With so many crashes today, including Smith's team-mate Pol Espargaro, he was asked whether the higher temperatures created a greasier track surface that could have played a role:

"To be honest the grip was very similar to the winter tests and if anything Bridgestone have brought a good compromise of tyres to cope with the conditions," said Smith. "We saw very fast laptimes today in the middle of the day whereas normally we see that early in the day or late in the afternoon so there's been good grip."

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Qualifying ninth wasn't ideal for the Tech3 rider but with his long run pace showing consistency Smith felt that his lack of outright pace in qualifying was less of a concern. Smith also commented that being able to use both tyres also gives him choice ahead of tomorrow's 20 lap race:

"You always hope to find that extra little bit more but today we were at the limit of the motorcycle and the good thing was that I was consistent with my pace on high fuel and used tyres. It looks like there's a group that will be fighting with each other so we'll analyse the data tonight and see what we can find.

"The good thing with being able to use two is that you can try both and find the positive of both. I'm quite sure which tyre I'd prefer to ride tomorrow but you have to look at the numbers and see which tyre is faster but I know which one that I'm more comfortable using and that's the soft tyre. The new tyre is good and it's a better stepping stone between the medium and the hard. I think that it's going to good use and we put it into the bike in Barcelona and it was quite good there so it would be interesting to try it at Qatar and a couple of other tracks. I think that it's a better compromise than some of the other tyres."

With Pol Espargaro sitting out qualifying and uncertainty as to whether he will join Andrea Iannone on the sidelines tomorrow Smith knows that he has been presented a great opportunity to close the gap to sixth in the championship standings:

"We're going to have to try and take a points haul because Stefan has qualified well, Iannone is out of the race, Aleix is the main man to take points out of tomorrow so we're going for fifth and it's definitely about trying to take the maximum points we can and hopefully there's some riders between me and my championship rivals."