By Stephen English

Bradley Smith is still feeling the effects of his Mugello injuries, but made a promising start to the Assen weekend with the tenth fastest time in the dry Thursday MotoGP practice session.

Smith said that his finger is healing well and that doctors expect to take the stitches out following Saturday's 26 lap race.

When asked about his condition the Englishman said: "The finger is OK but my wrist is the problem. Once you have surgery you still have some problems inside the hands, things like a build-up of fluid or other problems.

"You do invasive surgery and there will always be something wrong. I can't see why but I have more pain than in Barcelona bt it can't be terrible because I was tenth this morning and able to follow Rossi in the wet this afternoon."

Smith also said that he will not be having any pain killing injections ahead of the race and will rather use aural pain killers again.

Assen is a notoriously difficult track for premier class riders, with so many fast corners and short straights. When asked how he is finding the adaptation from Moto2 machine Smith laughed that: "It's one big corner here at Assen in a MotoGP bike!"

He explained: "Even the straights aren't straights here, everything is so much narrower on a MotoGP bike. I used to think that the right line on a 125 was essential but a MotoGP bike takes that to a whole new level. You have to have your tyres on the inside of the white line everywhere, within reason.

"You need to be almost touching the grass on the exit rather than the kerb and you have to get your elbow to be over the inside kerb every time. You need to make the track as big as possible to get as much of the power down as much as you can.

"MotoGP is a science; you need to sit down and analyse the data and then focus on different points of the track to get the maximum gain either going into or out of corners. For me I have to understand for each track and corner what strategy to take."


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