Bradley Smith believes he did 'the best possible job' after securing a fifth place, his best finish of 2014, in the Italian MotoGP encounter at Mugello.

Starting from eleventh place and the fourth row of the grid, Smith made a sensational start to sit fifth at the end of lap one. High track temperatures persuaded the Tech 3 Yamaha man to run the harder option front tyre, which didn't provide sufficient edge grip in the early laps.

Smith subsequently dropped behind Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi as a result.

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"Of course after this morning in warm-up we would have liked to be a little bit more competitive because my lap times were really good. Given my start, which was always going to be my main issue, I was already there after the first lap. I think that with the start I expected to be able to do a little bit more and I expected to hang around a bit longer with the Ducatis but I just couldn't make the front tyre do what I needed it to do in the beginning of the race.

"It was a similar kind of situation to Le Mans where under braking in the hotter temperatures and with the greasy track we had to run the harder front tyre and that doesn't have quite the same edge grip as the softer tyre and with full fuel it was quite greasy.

"You need a tyre that will stick and not slide so I'm a little bit disappointed from that point of view because we improved the bike in that regard from Le Mans and even though we didn't lose as much we're still losing time. We need to analyse it a bit more and come up with a few ideas for the next round."

As the race progressed Smith found himself chasing Crutchlow in fifth with team-mate Pol Espargaro close behind. The 23-year old had set himself the target of finishing ahead of Crutchlow on Saturday and found the battle useful to gauge where his M1 was strong.

"It was interesting to fight with Cal on track and it gave us more information to be gathered for the next races. Obviously with the Yamaha we can gain time in the high-speed corners whereas Cal can go into the corner a lot harder and stress the front tyre more than I can.

"This was one of the first races that we've been fighting on track together and the main thing was to be start and to make sure that we could stay in front of Pol. Every time that me and Cal started to fight we lost time so I wanted to be smart and stay behind. We'll have to see what Barcelona brings but Yamaha are on a good streak at the moment so we need to hope that it continues."

Crutchlow crashed at the fearsome Arrabbiata 1 with a little over two laps to go, allowing Smith to gain fifth and jump ahead of his countryman in the championship standings.

He revealed after the race that changes, which gave him greater stability in the fast s-bends, aided his consistency over race distance.

"Basically the changes were to allow me not to pitch in as much and to make the bike easier to manage at the start of the race. That was the main goal and in the change of direction we didn't want the bike to go loose so it was more stable in those. It made the bike a bit more physical to ride but it gave me the security that I needed to ride for 23 laps. I believe that we did the best job that we could and my pace was consistent."