After qualifying as the top KTM rider in 15th, Bradley Smith is ready to take a risk with tyre choice for Sunday's Czech Republic MotoGP.

"A lot of guys are going with the hard rear tyre, that's the safe option. But it's not working so well with our bike at the moment, so I need to make a decision…

"If you are going to take the risk, then you're just going to go with the soft [rather than the medium], put the right electronics in it and see if you can make it work.

"The temperature is supposed to be a little cooler tomorrow I think, so that maybe plays into my strategy a little bit better.

"I'm able to be fast with [the soft] straight away as well. The risk is, does it last? I'll tell you tomorrow..."

Smith's tyre choice is complicated by technical problems limiting his Saturday track time.

"We had an electrical problem in FP4. The bike stopped on the exit of turn one. The guys were able to fix that and it was the bike I ended up qualifying with," he said.

"And the other one was the same problem as yesterday, where I felt something and rather than risking anything just pulled over and parked it. It's something for them to look into. At this stage it's better to pull it over than carry on riding. Especially in an FP4 session."

However he was forced to toe the corporate line when asked if the engine issues were related to using injured test rider Mika Kallio's prototype bike:

"It's a development of KTM and any further questions you need to go to Sebastian [Risse, Technical Director]!"

But engine issues aside, it was a positive day for the Englishman.

"Already from this morning I felt good and was obviously able to do some low '56s," he said. "What was even more interesting for me was going to the afternoon a lot of people seemed to struggle a little bit more, or slow down, and I was able to go a little bit faster. So that shows good performance for tomorrow."

While Smith starts in a point-scoring place tomorrow, team-mate Pol Espargaro was frustrated to qualify in 19th, having struggled with a lack of grip in the Brno heat.

"It looks like when the temperature is hot like in Mugello or Barcelona we struggle more than the rest to find the grip. So it's the third track that with these conditions we struggle. The more hot, the more we struggle. And it's something we need to pay attention and understand why. I'll be doing a rain dance tonight!" he said.

"We changed some [engine] parameters and were faster than yesterday, but for some reason, I think the traction, we are putting more torque than last year and still a bit slower at the end of the straights. We don’t know how to get the grip. We are trying to change the bike setting, but in the end nothing really makes the difference. We are improving during the weekend, but the rest are improving as well."

While Smith is pondering racing the soft rear, Espargaro said his choice is between the medium or hard unless there is a drastic change in temperature.

"If it's hot like today we will need to put the hard one or bet to put the medium to try to overtake some guys at the beginning. But whatever we do is not going to be the right choice because we don't have a good feeling with any tyre."