Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith says bad luck was to blame after the British rider dropped to 16th place in FP3 at Losail in Qatar.

Smith, who is competing in his 150th Grand Prix across all classes this weekend, was unable to better his time on the medium compound tyre, ending with a quickest lap of 1m 55.741s, which left him seven tenths from the top five.

The 23-year-old was staying upbeat though, even if Smith is anticipating a tough Q1 against those riders eligible to use the soft rear tyre.

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"Of course, the end result today wasn't what we planned at all. To be honest, we were going really well in the first two runs in FP3 and I felt confident on the old tyres at the beginning," he said.

"Then on the second run, we tried the hard compound and I was one of the fastest riders on this type of tyre. However, we then put the new medium on at the end of the session but it didn't work well and I couldn't improve my lap time.

"Yet, I can't be negative as the bike feels good and I am certain that if we make a few small modifications, we can improve tomorrow.

"Qualifying 1 will be tough, especially with the riders who will use the soft tyres, but I am convinced that it is still possible that we can do a good job," added Smith.

"We have been competitive all weekend and we were just unlucky when it was time to do a time attack.

"These things happen, but I'm glad it was today and not tomorrow or Sunday. We'll stay positive, try to improve in a few small areas and then prepare for a fast lap in qualifying."

Smith's team-mate, Pol Espargaro, was tenth fastest on the satellite YZR-M1 with a time of 1m 55.328s securing his place in Q2.