Smith finished fourth in the 125cc World Championship 2010 season
Oxford-born Bradley Smith marked his Moto2 debut with a ninth-place finish at the season opener in Qatar.
Smith, who competes for Tech3 racing team, scored seven points for his first race of the MotoGP 2011 campaign.
The 20-year-old spent most of the race battling it out in 10th with former world supersport rider Michele Pirro and 125cc world champion Julian Simon.
But with three laps to go Smith overtook ex-Aspar teammate Simon to seal ninth position.
German Stefan Bradl, who started from pole position, won the race but Smith, who was at the front of the third row, led the British point scorers in Qatar after both his British colleagues Scott Redding and Kev Coghlan crashed out.
Smith will next be in action at the Jerez motoGP in Spain on 3 April.