Bradley Smith said he is already looking forward to next season after securing seventh place in this year’s fin-ale in Spain yesterday.

The Oxfordshire rider’s 13th top-ten placing of his rookie campaign meant hesecured tenth place in the final world championship standings.

Marc Marquez became the youngest world champion when his third-place finish clinched the world title in his rookie year.

Jorge Lorenzo won the race, but Marquez, 20, only had to finish fourth to become the first debut-season title-winner since American Kenny Roberts in 1978

. The result meant Marquez finished just four points ahead of Lorenzo in the standings, the smallest points margin since 1992.

Confirmation of the title win for Marquez sparked wild celebrations throughout the 104,000-strong crowd as the young Spanish rider wrote his name into the history books.

Smith made one of his trademark sensational starts and led the Monster Ya-maha Tech 3 challenge for the opening six laps by brilliantly fending off a hard charging teammate Cal Crutchlow.

But the latter’s quest for a 13th top six finish of an outstanding third season with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad was ended prematurely by a crash a third of the way into the 30-lap title decider.

Smith’s top-ten finish of a hugely impressive campaign never looked in any serious doubt thanks to his stunning early pace and he finished in a comfortable seventh.

His result concludes a fantastic final part of the 2013 campaign for the 22-year-old, who has finished inside the top eight in each of the last five races.

After the race, he was jubilant.

He said: “Another seventh place, 116 points in the world championship standings and place in the team standings should actually make me happy at the end of my rookie season.

“The gap to the fastest guys is less than 30 seconds again, and that is a positive end to the weekend, and a really positive way to end the year.

“I think we definitely showed good progress throughout the season and I want to thank my team for the amazing job they have done in teaching and helping me over the last 12 months.

“I’m really grateful to have such an experienced squad behind me. “The next season starts on Tuesday already, and I’m really excited about it.”