Moto2 rider Bradley Smith 'happy' with season opener
Tech 3 Racing rider Bradley Smith declared himself "happy" after finishing his Moto2 season-opening race in ninth position in Qatar.
Oxfordshire's Smith was only 10 seconds behind the winner and the 21-year-old is sure he will be fighting for the top six when the season resumes in Jerez.
"I gave my absolute maximum and am happy considering the circumstances to finish ninth," said Smith.
"To be only 10 seconds behind the winner is a decent result."
Smith added: "It has been a tough winter while we have worked so hard to improve the Mistral 610 machine, so this top 10 gives me good motivation for the forthcoming races.
"The Tech 3 team did a fantastic job and each time I went out on the bike we made a big step. The race was going well and I was having good battle with [Alex] de Angelis when I lost my rear brake just after halfway.
"That meant I made a few mistakes and physically I was tired because of the food poisoning. I'm just glad I trained so hard in the winter because I was drained of a lot of energy by the sickness.
"We found half-a-second for the race and now I am looking to Jerez with a lot of confidence."