Oxford’s Bradley Smith improved on a tough MotoGP opener in Qatar on the Losail International Circuit but still placed outside of a points-scoring position.
Red Bull KTM rider Smith rallied to the points-scoring positions early on in the race but lost his rhythm when his front tyre dropped after 10 circulations.
The tyre fade forced Smith to slow his pace and finished outside of the points in 18th. Smith said: “I was really happy with the start of the race; I was aggressive and I made up some positions.
“For the first 10 laps everything was working quite well and then I started to struggle with the front tyre and a lot of understeer and this was not something we had in any of the tests. The lap-times slowly dropped off.
“There were some corners where I was OK and others where I was just losing time. It was frustrating because I put myself in a good position to push along with the front guys.
“It was good to know more about where the KTM needs to improve by being with the other guys on track.”
MotoGP heads to South America for the Grand Prix de la Republica Argentina at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit on April 8.