Pleased with his pace and performance in opening Valencia MotoGP practice, Bradley Smith struggled in the afternoon after a set-up change backfired in the second session.

However all things considering Smith was pleased with having set the ninth fastest time overall and is looking for improvements tomorrow in qualifying and he seeks to overturn Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Pol Espargaro's seven point championship advantage.

"I was alright out there," said Smith. "My first setting in the morning was really good. In the afternoon, because we had a good base, we went a little bit adventurous in the second session to see if we could find something that was a little better. We didn't and we kind of came back to what we had in the morning and then played around with that a little bit.

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"We've now got a clear indication of the direction that we want to go with tomorrow and in terms of drive grip I'm really good and I just need to let go of the break and carry a little bit more corner speed. I need to ride it more like a Yamaha because unfortunately I remember it more like how I rode here last year and that works on a new tyre but for a race you have to ride it nice and smooth.

"So tomorrow I'll be riding it a little more easy and letting go of the brake and scarifying my exit and hopefully gaining a few tenths. We're not that far away, we're close but I'd like to see my consistent pace in the '31s rather than in the low '32s."

The new asymmetric front tyre came under fire in Philip Island with numerous riders crashing with it in the cooler conditions. Smith however has enjoyed using the new tyre and seems confident of running it in the race:

"I ran that this morning on the last run and all afternoon, I like it. I liked it from the first time that I tested it in Brno and I liked it, to a certain extent, in Philip Island. It's working well for me here as well so we'll continue using it. At the moment the super-soft isn't a race option so I'll try the hard tyre tomorrow.

"At the moment on the right hand side of the tyre I'm feeling the best that I ever have around here, there's the super-soft on the right and the support on the left, so it's a really good combination."