The Briton led the way during the second and third days of testing at the track which hosts the Spanish Grand Prix in two months time. Now riding for Polaris World Aprilia, his 'unofficial' lap record was 1 minute 46.869 seconds and he was the only rider to lap under one minute 47 seconds in the complete three days.

"It's a great start to the season with my new team especially as I'm still learning so much about the bike," said Smith, who also crashed without injury on the third day. "This is only testing and there is a long way to go but we could not have got a better start . We will not be getting carried away."

World champion Gabor Talmacsi finished three tenths of a second down in second place, with Simone Corsi third.

Meanwhile, Smith's former Repsol Honda team-mate Esteve Rabat had a nightmare start to the year; the Spaniard breaking his collarbone during the final day.

Testing continues this week at Valencia.