Bradley Smith claimed his first Moto GP points of the year with a 13th placed finish in the Spanish race at Jerez.
The Forest Hill rider was upbeat following his best finish so far this season on Sunday, just days after losing his factory ride for the Red Bull KTM team to Yamaha’s Johann Zarco next season.
Smith finished behind team-mates Mika Kallio and Pol Espargaro in 10th and 11th respectively.
The 27-year-old said: “The opening half of the race was pretty good and then (Alvaro) Bautista and Maverick (Viñales) started to up their pace a little bit.
“I tried to go with them but got a bit nervous and stressed on the bike.”
Smith, 22nd in the drivers’ standings, added: “I spent half the race digging-in-deep. Pol and I then duked until the last corner – I was off the track.
“I was pleased with my pace. It is nice to see our updated bike looking strong. It is looking like the right direction.”
Team manager Mike Leitner was delighted all three racers brought the bikes home with 14 points.
Zarco finished the race runner-up to championship leader Marc Marquez.
The next race is the French GP in Le Mans.