Bradley Smith heads to this weekend's Catalunya round as the leading satellite rider in the MotoGP World Championship.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider took over sixth in the standings when LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow fell just ahead of him at Mugello.

Smith crossed the line a season-best fifth, from eleventh on the grid, and now holds a ten-point lead over former team-mate Crutchlow and twelve point advantage over present team-mate Pol Espargaro.

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"Catalunya is a circuit that I enjoy with its variety of different corners and the crowd is always amazing, especially in the last part of the track," Smith said. "In addition, the layout seems to suit the characteristics of the Yamaha YZR-M1 quite well, therefore, I'll be gunning for another top finish.

"In Mugello, the qualifying didn't go to plan so I'm aiming to rectify this in Catalunya and grab a solid starting position to give me the best possible chance in the race.

"We also have a test on Monday where we will try out a few new ideas. However, before that, there's the Catalan Grand Prix and my fists are clenched already for the battle on Sunday."

Catalunya is Espargaro's local event and the Spaniard should also be close to full fitness following his pre-Mugello arm pump surgery.

"Round 7 means it's time for my home Grand Prix and of course, this is one of the highlights of my season, especially as it's also sponsored by our title partner Monster Energy!" said Espargaro, who has only beaten Smith once this season.

"To hear my fans cheering is an amazing feeling and I will do my very best to please them particularly as I grew up very close to this circuit, therefore it doesn't get any more of a home GP than this for me!

"Mugello was quite a positive race and most importantly a definite improvement after my recent arm surgery and so, I intend to do even better this weekend as I was able to start training again.

"I definitely have some good memories of racing at this track, like winning the Moto2 race from pole in 2013 which was the year I became champion and I aim to add another one to the collection this time.

"We also have a test after the race which will be very useful as we have a few things to adjust and amend, so I look forward to this week at home and I can't wait to get the show on the road!"