BRADLEY Smith finished 16th in the third round of the MotoGP season in Austin, Texas.

The 26-year-old, from Forest Hill, was 15.543secs behind Pull&Bear Aspar Team rider Alvaro Bautista, who picked up the final point at the Circuit of the Americas.

Smith had profited from riders ahead of him crashing out to move up to 15th after qualifying on the sixth row, before he was overtaken by the Spaniard.

But despite the lack of points, it is another positive step in the right direction for the KTM Red Bull Racing team.

Smith’s teammate Pol Espargaro was forced to retire due to a clutch issue, but for the third successive race the Oxfordshire rider has accumulated valuable full-race data for the newly-launched factory outfit.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez won the race ahead of new championship leader Valentino Rossi, of Movistar Yamaha, and teammate Dani Pedrosa.

The next round is at the Spanish circuit of Jerez on Sunday, May 7.