Bradley Smith was in a much happier frame of mind after the Tech 3 Yamaha rider improved his time by 1.7s during final qualifying ahead of the Catalunya MotoGP.

Smith suffered a heavy fall yesterday which dented his confidence, but the 22-year-old bounced back with a best lap of 1m 42.548s to take 11th place on the grid, one second down on team-mate Cal Crutchlow, who starts on the front row in second position.

The British rider is optimistic he can challenge for a top ten result tomorrow on the satellite YZR-M1 and doesn't expect to suffer any ill-effects from the injuries he sustained to his left hand in a spill at Mugello.

"I'm feeling a lot more positive now considering what happened yesterday when I was quite slow.

"I've managed to go 1.7s faster today and that's a great step," said Smith.

"I am only a second away from Cal and that is my normal level and I feel we did a good job.

"My left hand I injured in Mugello was also much better today and it won't cause me any issues in the race."

Smith said he is now eagerly anticipating the race and his aim is to keep in touch with the leading group during the first eight laps.

"When you go so much faster though the feeling with the bike changes and I could do with one more day of practice to fine-tune the set-up," he said.

"I am really looking forward to the race now. Tyre wear in such hot conditions is going to be critical but I need to stay with the group in the first eight laps and then it will be a big fight to see who can conserve the tyres for the longest.

"I need to say a big thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because they have worked really hard on changing the bike to help me improve."



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