Bradley Smith will start Sunday's Spanish MotoGP from tenth on the grid, the Englishman predicating a damage limitation race at a circuit that favours a front-end riding style.

"This track seems to be really favouring guys that have the bike set-up more front nose heavy," the Monster Yamaha tech 3 rider explained. "It hasn't favoured them in the first few races but the nature of this track you kind of ride the bike more with the front wheel, which is always a struggle for me.

"I like to ride more from the rear end of the bike, which doesn't work around here. I'm losing 0.2 on every entry to a fast corner. So you stick that around the race track and there is the 1.6s we are behind.

"It'll be a bit of damage limitation in the race I think. We're not going to miraculously find pace, but at least I know my consistency is there. If I can stay in a rhythm hopefully people will come back to be and I'll be able to pick them off towards the end.

"We went the wrong direction for qualifying. That's clear because I wasn't able to get anywhere near my FP3 times, while other people went faster. But we have a base set-up we can go back to.

"Also my race pace in FP3 was pretty good. Low '40s on full race distance tyres. Only about 0.6 away from [pole sitter] Jorge's race pace. That is where we expect to be. We try to be less than one second.

"So the results are negative but if we look at the big picture we are all right. We've just got to stay calm and try and find something in the next 24 hours to get ourselves in a better position at the end of the race."

Smith's Saturday work was interrupted by two falls, the second of which was 'a bit embarrassing'.

"The first one was a normal bike incident. I ran into the corner, let go of the brake a bit early, touched the gas a bit early and just unloaded the front," he said. "The second one I was looking for the chequered flag and the chequered flag wasn't there.

"So then I glanced at the clock on the left to see how much time I had remaining and why the chequered flag wasn't out. By the time I looked straight I'd missed the braking point by about 50 metres! I went straight into the gravel and fell over. That was a bit embarrassing!"

Team-mate Pol Espargaro qualified as the top satellite rider in fourth while LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow, just ahead of Smith for top satellite honours in the championship standings, starts seventh.



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