Bradley Smith continued his impressive season with a top four finish at Sepang. The Tech3 rider had a scrap with Cal Crutchlow in the early laps but a brake problem left both riders facing a lonely second half of proceedings in Malaysia.
Sepang had been a hugely challenging weekend for Smith with the Englishman struggling on Friday before finding gradual improvement throughout the rest of the weekend.
"It was nice to turn it around like we did. Like I said before, P14 on the end of Friday, then P4 on Sunday. I got lucky with a few crashes, but against Cal, my main rival in terms of satellite bikes, I was able to claw it back after the incident with Dovi, and then put in a bit of a pass and go from there. Nice to turn it around, nice to throw a gamble in there and have it work, because we gambled a little bit on the setting a little bit for the race, but it was a calculated risk and it proved the right decision.
"Cal seemed to be struggling a little bit with the front end. Even behind he seemed to be struggling a little bit there. But I tried to set up the bike as safe as possible, like always. I know that in the race here, one small problem is emphasized in the race because of how hot and how greasy the track gets, so I tried to put a safe setting underneath, and was able to brake pretty late, not really late, but just play to my strengths."
Smith is has now consolidated his hold sixth in the championship from Andrea Dovizioso.