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OXFORDSHIRE star Bradley Smith was back on his bike yesterday as preparations began for the 2014 MotoGP World Championship at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia.

It was the first of nine test days in Malaysia and Qatar, before the first race under lights in Doha on March 23.

Smith, returning to the Monster Yamaha Tech3 squad for his second year after a finishing tenth in his rookie season, completed 55 laps on his new 2014 spec Yamaha YZF M1.

He finished tenth fastest, with a best lap of 2.01,876min and a gap of less than eight tenths from Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.

Smith said: “All in all, the day has been positive. “Physically I felt much better than last year at this stage, so my training seems to have paid off.

“I also feel very comfortable with the set-up of the bike, but due to the regulation changes, the electronic system is different and we spent the whole day working on it.”