Technical issues saw MotoGP rider Bradley Smith fail to finish in the Czech Republic on Sunday, on a day when his team enjoyed their best result of the season.
Oxford’s Smith was forced to retire one lap from the end in a wet/dry race at the Brno circuit after suffering a problem with his ‘dry bike’.
All the riders started on the ‘wet bike’, but made the switch in the first few laps as the track dried up.
The 26-year-old KTM rider was one of the first to make the switch, but this led to a problem developing on the ‘dry bike’ and in the end he decided to stop before the end.
However there was elation for his team-mate Pol Espargaro, who brought his bike home in ninth place to record KTM’s first top 10 result.
Smith said: “These conditions make it very difficult and stressful for the whole team as it doesn’t make it easy with so many different scenarios and so many ways to react.
“We had a long bike change after lap two but so soon after the start it doesn’t give the crew a lot of time to change the bike settings.
“But then later on the race wasn’t going in its best direction, only for the bike to have a problem so I decided it was better to save the bike and stop.
“So a frustrating way to end the weekend as there have been many positives in the rain and also in the dry, but we weren’t quite able to show it in the race.”
Smith was back in action at Brno on Monday for a test, finishing 16th of the 18 riders who took part with a best time of 1:56.976 – just under two seconds shy of pace-setter Valentino Rossi.
Smith is 22nd in the MotoGP standings with eight points, while Espargaro is three spots higher on 21.
The next race is the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend, ahead of the British round of the championship at the end of the month.