Bradley Smith feels his near high-side in German MotoGP qualifying cost him a better grid position, after the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider lost confidence in the final sector at the Sachsenring.

Smith will start the German MotoGP from the third row in ninth place and has set himself a target of getting the jump on Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro and his Yamaha team-mate Pol Espargaro into the opening turn to boost his chances of finishing inside the top six.

The British rider almost high-sided from his M1 at the beginning of Q2 and injured his face as his helmet broke the bubble of his Yamaha, forcing him to pit for a new screen before resuming qualifying.

Related Articles

"My problem is I hit my face pretty hard on the steering. I don't know exactly what [damage is done] but all of my jaw now [is sore], especially on the right side and my neck," said Smith.

"I feel quite good in the middle of the corner there [turn 11] so then I opened wide open and the bumps almost confused the traction control a little bit and the bike set sideways, so it was my own fault.

"I know it's slippy there, so tomorrow I may add some traction control because I have this tendency to grab a handful and I forget sometimes that I'm on a 1000cc and still think I'm riding a 125!" he added.

"It's certain parts of the track and it's almost like something is down, or it is the bumps there. It's just lifting the tyre a little bit, especially when you're accelerating hard.

"It's a weird one because even on the front it bounces there and I think it's more from the bumps than the track. The track is the same as it's been in previous seasons and if anything I think it's better conditions, it's just a little cooler this year."

Smith is all too aware of the importance of a good start at the Sachsenring but if he manages to force his way past the Espargaro brothers in the early stages he will also likely have to contend with the Pramac Ducati of Yonny Hernandez.

"I hope to get a good start because my plan was to be top six and now I'm ninth. It's frustrating from that point of view but my moment definitely made me too nervous in the last sector because I lost three and a half tenths in the last sector," said Smith.

"I can't kick myself too much because we are human at the end of the day. I need to try and jump Aleix and Pol [Espargaro] on my row and then Yonny Hernandez as soon as possible.

"He's riding well this weekend but he can still mess up everybody's race. Then I can see what pace we have because this morning I had good pace and then in FP4 we tried a couple of options that didn't work so at least we know more or less what we are going to do for tomorrow's race," he added.

"It's frustrating because I had very good pace similar to [Jorge] Lorenzo and [Valentino] Rossi this morning but I'm back in ninth so I'm making it hard work for myself, especially here but you never know."

Smith decided against testing the asymmetric front tyre at the Sachsenring, saying he 'didn't need it'.

"I haven't tried the '33 and I don't feel that I need it," said Smith. "The right hand side here doesn't demand too much so it's probably better to have a little bit of safety on maximum lean."