With team-mate Pol Espargaro sidelined due to his Yamaha contract, Bradley Smith is the only 2017 KTM race rider taking part in the final MotoGP test before the winter ban.

The Englishman was only 22nd on the Wednesday timesheets at Jerez, where 15 MotoGP riders/test riders are sharing the track with WorldSBK competitors, but explained his role this week is purely to give feedback to the factory for future developments.

"I don't feel too bad physically, of course the knee is still not fantastic but it's getting better. 50 laps is quite demanding, but anyway I'm pleased with the day. We tried a lot of things, to try and gain an idea of what to do in the future. What we need to work on and what we don't," Smith said.

"The idea of this test is to try to give KTM and my team as much information, so if they need to build some special or new parts for next year they have all the winter to do it. So, I believe this test won't be a lot about performance, won't be a lot about lap time. It's more about gaining the information and almost being a test rider and trying all of the things and giving a clear indication."

While Espargaro is unable to ride at Jerez, he has travelled to the test to try and help his new team, while test rider Mika Kallio occupies the other side of the garage alongside Smith.

"It's good that we have Mika here. It's good that we also have Pol here as well. He is out around the track with Mike [Leitner] and they're picking up a lot of information. The good thing is that what they see is what I am also saying.

"So we are working really well as a unit. Tomorrow we have a further test planned to try some more new parts and fingers crossed we get another dry day."

Espargaro was released by Yamaha to ride at the official Valencia test, but - like Jorge Lorenzo - not allowed any further outings until his contract expires on December 31st. Smith, team-mate to Espargaro for the past three seasons, is able to test again this week since his 2016 contract is with Tech 3 rather than Yamaha.

By Peter McLaren



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