Qatar MotoGP: Bradley Smith frustrated with eighth

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Bradley Smith cut a frustrated figure in Qatar last night after the British rider made a disappointing start to his bid for 125GP glory in 2010.

Tipped by many as favourite for this year’s crown after his double win and overall second place in the 2009 world championship, the Oxfordshire rider was severely handicapped by an engine problem throughout the opening weekend in Doha.

Struggling for power in sixth gear, the issue continued to hamper Smith in the 18-lap race and he was never in contention to breakaway with a seven-rider battle in the early stages.

Smith, who missed the podium for the first time since the Czech Republic GP in Brno last August, said: “It is disappointing to be riding at the limit and only have the chance of eighth place.

"That's the situation we found ourselves in though this weekend. The team worked incredibly hard over the weekend to try and best prepare my bike for the race, despite some problems, but it just wasn't competitive enough to be up there with the lead group.

"We have to be content, because it was a tricky weekend and we've still got eight points from the race.

"Eighth isn't a position I'd like to be in too often, but it's the first race of the year and we have to continue working in an optimistic fashion in order to be as fast as we were last year."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt