Bradley Smith says the extremely competitive level in MotoGP came out with his last-lap battle against Scott Redding to secure the final point place in 15th at the first-ever Thailand round as he seeks answers behind pace problems in the first Asia flyaway race.

The Red Bull KTM rider found himself fighting against his fellow countryman on the Aprilia for the last point position with Smith getting the better of his British rival for 15th place in a sprint to the chequered flag.

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Smith, who has collected consecutive points finishes for the first time since early June, relished the chance to fight Redding having braced for a tough race with the hard Michelin rear tyre following the French manufacturer’s recommendations.

“It was a bit like Aragon where we had good one lap pace with the soft tyres but in the race with the hard option we are struggling a little bit more,” Smith said. “Again I had a good start and reached P10 in the beginning.

“I learned from being around the other guys and we seem to be having the same problems. It will be good to make some more analysis this week and before we go to Japan. I think we will be able to find some conclusions and answers.

“I had a fun little battle with Scott [Redding] in the final laps and it was strange to be fighting so hard for the last point but that’s how competitive it is inside MotoGP at the moment. It is not easy to get that point.”

Both the British riders will leave the MotoGP grid at the end of this year with Smith joining Aprilia as its test rider for 2019 with a number of wildcard race entries already confirmed.

Redding will head to the British Superbike championship next year with the Be Wiser Ducati squad.

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