Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith has written off his chances of breaking into the leading group of riders in the Argentina MotoGP and will focus instead on 'damage limitation' in the championship standings.

The British rider qualified in 10th place at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit after squeezing into the final qualifying session via Q1 but admits he is 'struggling' for pace.

"It's pretty impossible [to run with lead group]. We don't have the pace right now and we are struggling as it is," Smith said.

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"The idea is to try and put ourselves in front of as many soft tyres [riders] as we can and make damage limitation in the championship.

"We need to find a little more pace on the hard tyre to compensate for the other guys on the soft; there are five guys on the soft in front of us and theoretically we should try and put ourselves in front of all of them," he added.

"Our tyre should be better than theirs; not in the first 10 laps I don't think but in the remaining 15 we should be able to make some inroads and we need to find something more pace-wise."

Smith posted his best time in 1m 39.197s, which was 1.3s off the quickest lap achieved by Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez, but felt he could have gained a few places on the grid had he not been limited to running with a used front tyre.

"Unfortunately, there was only one compound of my favoured front tyre left, which I decided to keep for the race tomorrow and so I had to run with a used one in qualifying two," he said.

"As a result, I couldn't push as hard as before but nevertheless, we did an okay job considering that the tyre had already covered a full race distance in the end.

"Perhaps we could have been a position or two higher, but 10th is acceptable and especially as it has been quite a tricky weekend so far."

On the effect of the higher temperatures prevalent on Saturday, Smith added: "It's not really getting better [track conditions] but we will see what it is like tomorrow; the track is always a bit greasier come race day for some reason but everyone is in the same boat and we'll try and do what we can."