Oxfordshire rider Bradley Smith escaped injury after being involved in a crash as he prepared for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuito de Jerez yesterday.

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider had started the day positively as he aimed to improve his lap time of 1.40.758 set in the first free practice in the afternoon, only for his time to be cut short by a nasty crash on lap 11.

He finished in the combined standings in 11th position overall, but remains hopeful of bouncing back today and qualifying in the top six.

“Today was a tough day, but the most important thing is that I am okay after that huge crash and that I didn’t get any injuries,” said Smith.

“We didn’t find a good set up with the bike, despite trying many different options and I also struggled a lot with my the rear grip and my confidence with it.

“I tried the soft and hard compounds of both tyres, and provided Bridgestone with as much information as possible so that we can find a solution.”

Smith added: “We have a lot of work to do and seriously need to look into our setting.

“We are not close for the moment, and need to undertake a drastic change to get higher up the grid, but I am still confident that I can qualify well here in Jerez.”

World Champion Marc Marquez was the pace-setter in the second free practice session, though NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro was yesterday’s fastest rider overall.