Speaking afterwards the Englishman was clearly very pleased with his result:
“We took a massive advantage of the situation we found ourselves in, “admitted Smith. “We did a good job in FP1 to go straight into the top ten and Q2. The bike is working well, judging by Jorge’s speed yesterday and Cal get pole today, we’re still a second off the pace but with my injuries and this track layout I’m pleased with getting the second row. With a good start I could make up a few positions and then learn from the factory boys.”
Starting on the second row gives Smith the opportunity to race with the likes of Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi from the start and the 22 year old views this as an invaluable opportunity to improve:
“I need to follow them for as long as I can. Any information that I can gain from those guys will be invaluable for the rest of the season. It’s the first time I’ve put myself into the hunt to follow them and it will be a good opportunity that I shouldn’t mess up. It’s a great achievement to start on the second row but that’s why I need to make sure that my first laps are good so that I can learn from those riders. Anything I learn, especially from Valentino being on a Yamaha, would be critical and could help for the rest of the year.”
With Smith still carrying a wrist and finger injury, which he said was worse this weekend than it has been, there will be question marks about how long he can maintain the pace of the leading riders but his target is to learn as much as possible for the rest of the season.