Soggy Start To Le Mans Weekend For Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

He came out on top yesterday on the opening day of practice and for good measure took a third of a second off the race lap record as he eased clear of Jorge Lorenzo.

It was a rich reward for the Oxford rider who worked hard with his Monster Tech3 Yamaha team to sort various bike issues in a day long test following the previous problems in Jerez.

"That weekend was a bit of a challenging one, however I still managed to battle through to eighth (in Jerez)and we then found the solution to our issue in the test on Monday," said Smith.

"I am confident of clinching a top result though we must ensure we get everything set up and ready for the race."

Smith and his team, which is based near to Le Mans, look well on course to put behind them what has been a difficult start to the campaign.

He increased his pace across the two sessions and his best lap in the afternoon came in a time of 1m 33.179secs, an improvement of 1.550secs on his earlier fastest time.

That is a big confidence booster for Smith, who still managed a smile as he walked back to his pit-garage having taken a last minute tumble at the Chicane but without injury or damage to his bike.

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