2015 - Czech Republic - Brno

Consistent Smith completes Czech Grand Prix as top satellite rider

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith determinedly battled his way to 7th position at the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky as he finished once again as the leading satellite rider aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1. The young Briton began the day strongly by completing the warm up in 5th place which left him fully confident for the race today. When the 22 lap sprint commenced, the 24 year old undertook an impressive start to climb into 3rd position at the first corner as he rode right in the mix with the factory MotoGP bikes. Ultimately, he crossed the line in 6th position after the first lap whilst exchanging some aggressive passes with Andrea Dovizioso. Smith then stuck into his strong race pace in order to remain with the group, yet was overtaken by Dani Pedrosa on lap seven. However, at the halfway point, the English star remained in 7th whilst setting a series of consistent lap times as he aimed to open a gap to his chasing teammate and due to his impeccable riding, he completed the race in this position. His result in the Czech Republic saw him pocket another batch of points to add to his tally in the world championship as he continues to reside in 5th, ahead of the Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro delivered another resolute performance in the 11th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship as he clinched 8th position in the today’s race at the 5.4 kilometre Automotodrom Brno. When the highly anticipated event jumped into action, the Spaniard bolted from the middle of the third row and aggressively completed his first lap in 7th position. From here, he rode behind his teammate and embarked on a hot pace. On the fifth lap, Dani Pedrosa overtook him yet he remained fully focused and continued in his strong rhythm. As the race distance progressed, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion pushed onwards with his sights fully set on Smith, but as the lap numbers ran out, he met the chequered flag in 8th position in front of just over 138,000 fans. The result positively concludes a challenging weekend for the 24 year old in the Czech Republic which sees him progress up to 8th with 81 points in the World Championship standings.

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 7th Championship : 5th Points : 106

Bradley Smith - 2015"It’s a good achievement to finish as the top satellite bike again and the result concludes a positive weekend for us in the Czech Republic. Having said that, it is quite frustrating to finish 21 seconds behind the leader but this seems to be our level at the moment. All weekend the team has done a fantastic job and I really enjoyed fighting for the front row in qualifying yesterday. In the race today we took a bit of a gamble due to the hot weather conditions and I rode the medium front tyre and when I was following the Ducati riders at the beginning, I overheated it slightly, which caused me to drop back a bit. However, from the halfway point onwards, I felt more comfortable. It seems that we lose too much time at the start and so this is the weakest point. It is limiting us a little but despite that, I know that the guys are working really hard to find any kind of solution. Another positive is that I extended my lead over Pol in the championship standings, plus I didn’t lose too many points to Dovizioso. We’re fifth and we will continue to fight as hard as possible to remain in that position so I am super excited about continuing this run at my home GP"

Profil 

   
Pol Espargaro
Position : 8th Championship : 8th Points : 81

Pol Espargaro - 2015"Of course, I can’t be completely satisfied with today’s result, but compared to the race in Indianapolis we finally made a good step forward as we completely made up the gap to Bradley. We were able to improve the behaviour of the bike in the braking areas as well as the turning which was where I was stronger than my teammate today. Unfortunately, we are still lacking rear grip and I’m quite surprised that the other riders don’t seem to face the same difficulties. However I’m convinced that if we can solve this issue then we will be able to ride a lot faster. Therefore, we have still plenty of work ahead of us, but it has definitely been a productive day and we were able to draw some positive conclusions which should help us to make further steps forward during the next races. In addition, another encouraging point of the weekend was that I moved up one position in the championship standings and I’m keen to collect another top result at Silverstone to boost my placement further"

Profil 

   
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"To be completely honest, it was another tough day for my heart! I have to talk to Bradley and Pol because I am getting old and what they are doing on track is threatening my health! It was a long and intense race but I think we achieved the best that we could have hoped for by finishing in 7th and 8th. Six full factory bikes were the only ones in front of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 guys and none of them made any mistakes what shows how competitive our whole team is. The two riders have quite clearly shown that once again they are the best satellite riders so I am really proud of them. Coming back to my heart, when I saw them so close on the track, I knew how much they wanted to beat each other and it was a bit worrying to watch. That was almost the case from the very beginning of the race but I have to thank both for being clever, fast, cautious and for not taking too many risks as we took some strong and important points. Bradley still sits in fifth in the standings which is very impressive and it’s great for him to arrive at his home Grand Prix holding this place. On the other hand Pol made a lot of ground on some of his strong opponents and the pace of the two guys was very close so I think it was a positive weekend altogether. Hopefully they can have a few days off before they get back on track at the British Grand Prix"

 

Smith powers to second row in Brno qualifying thriller

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith produced his best qualifying result of the year today as he shot to 5th position in the highly intense qualifying shootout at the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky. The 24 year old, who currently sits in 5th in the MotoGP World Championship standings, got straight up to speed in this morning’s FP3 practice as he delivered a top time of 1’56.195, that left him in 4th position in the combined standings. His performance saw him glide straight through to Q2 and once the 15 minute session began, the British rider jumped on his Yamaha YZR-M1 and launch into his qualifying campaign. Smith undertook seven laps at the 5.4 kilometre Brno circuit and produced an impressive time of 1’55.460 that was 0.125 quicker than last year’s pole position. In addition, his lap was fractionally behind third place by barely over a tenth of a second and tomorrow he will start the 22 lap race from the middle of the second row as he aims to clinch the leading satellite honours once again.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Pol Espargaro undertook a fully determined qualifying effort and will start the 11th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship from 8th position. The 2014 leading satellite rider endured a tricky time in the morning practice session as he finished with a best lap of 1’56.484. This was only three tenths behind his teammate, yet it put him in 11th and just 0.013 seconds outside the cut off point for Q2. In the first qualifying session, the 24 year old persevered and a rode a strong time of 1’56.212 that put him at the top of the pile by over three tenths of a second. Straight after that, when Qualifying 2 occurred, Espargaro waited until the midpoint of the session in order to save his only remaining set of tyres, but once on track, he attacked straight away and concluded the practice with a personal best of 1’55.955. This time was a blink of an eye from the second row by only 0.020 after he completed just three laps and we will see him begin at the Automotodrom Brno from the middle of the third row.

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 5th Time : 1'55.460 Laps : 7

Bradley Smith - 2015 "I am very happy with my performance today as it is my second consecutive
qualifying result on the front two rows after the summer break. This is especially rewarding because my main focus for the remaining races was to improve my grid positions as we lost too much time at the beginning of the races earlier this year. In FP4 we tried various different settings and some were positive and others were not as good but the team made a combination of these and in the end I went out on a bike in Q2 with a setting which I hadn’t ridden yet. It was a bit risky, but it turned out to be a good choice by the team and I have to thank them for their great work. I am only half a second from the pole time and again, I was fighting with the Factory Yamaha for the front row, and so I have to be happy. The top five riders were a big step above the other guys on the single lap pace, however I’m sure it will be different in the race. The important thing tomorrow will be to get a good start as it will be a long, tough one and so, tyre management is vital. We will try to make some small improvements tonight, especially for tyre preservation and I will test them tomorrow morning. However, I’m pretty sure that we have the right bike to do a good job

Profil  

   
Pol Espargaro
Position : 8th Time : 1'55.955 Laps : 3

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "Without a doubt, it has been a complicated day here in the Czech Republic. We had to face different issues with the bike, which prevented us from setting up the M1 properly. As a result, we are still struggling a little bit to find a solution which will make me feel confident, especially if the grip level isn’t too high. However, to finish with a gap of just two hundredths of a second from the second row is quite pleasing especially after the challenge of going through QP1, plus with only one tyre left for Qualifying 2. Of course this is not where we want to be but I’m confident that we will adjust a few things on the bike in tomorrow’s warm up so that we are prepared for what will definitely be a tough race. Having said that, I will give my absolute all in order to come away with the best possible result after the uphill start we had so far"

Profil  

   

Espargaro finishes as top satellite rider after battling the heat in Brno on day one

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro started the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky in a positive light after finishing the opening day of practice in 7th place overall in the combined standings. The Spaniard concluded the opening session in 12th position after beginning to alter his Yamaha YZR-M1 for the undulating hills of Brno. After lapping the circuit 16 times, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion posted a lap of 1’58.195 as he looked optimistically onwards to the afternoon practice. When it began, Espargaro jumped straight back into gear and continued his work in preparation for Sunday’s race as he made steps forward with the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1 by the close of FP2. He finished with a best lap of 1’57.078, which was set on his final run and his performance left him less than a hairs breadth back from Valentino Rossi who was in 4th, by only 0.004. This equalled 5th in the afternoon and 7th overall at the close of day one. Tomorrow, the Spaniard will seek to produce a notable showing in qualifying in order to clinch a top tier grid position.

Meanwhile, on the opposite of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith finished the opening day of action in the Czech Republic in 8th place overall after a solid effort today aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. The 24 year old British rider kicked off proceedings by beginning to set up his bike for Sunday, in FP1, before concluding the session with a best lap of 1’57.137, landing him in 7th. In the afternoon, Smith continued his work with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team under the blazing sun and completed a total of 16 laps around the 5.4 kilometre Automotodrom Brno. He set a best time of 1’57.494, yet his lap from the morning practice was the faster of the two sessions and saw him seize 8th overall. Tomorrow, he will intend to progress further with his setup work and then land his MotoGP bike in a positive qualifying position at the 11th round of the 2015 World Championship.

   
Pol Espargaro
Position : 7th Time : 1'57.078 Laps : 32

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "Overall it has been a positive but challenging first day. This morning we were struggling in different areas, so my confidence wasn’t at its highest. Yet, we able to find the right direction to work towards and fortunately the modifications we made for the afternoon session, made me feel much more comfortable on the bike. This was truly positive as the conditions were much warmer in the afternoon and it should be very similar in Sunday’s race which also helps to boost my confidence. In free practice 2, the soft rear tyre was working really well and I could actually ride the bike in the way that I wanted to and I enjoyed it too. Therefore my rhythm along with my fastest lap time improved significantly. So after a tricky start to the weekend I can now optimistically look tomorrow’s FP3 session"

Profil  

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 8th Time : 1'57.137 Laps : 34

Bradley Smith - 2015 "It was a good opening to the weekend and there are many positives to take from today. As soon as we hit the track this morning in FP1, I felt really comfortable with the bike, which set me up confidently for the afternoon. Yet, FP2 was a bit more complicated as it was a trickier for everyone due to the hot weather conditions and the track temperature. We were able to try both compounds of rear and front tyres in order to have all the necessary information available to analyse. Still, I’m a bit disappointed with the crash this afternoon, although it seems like a lot of guys made the same mistake because it has been quite difficult to find the right compromise in the balance between the hard and soft tyres. Therefore we need to try and understand what the issue was and fix it tomorrow because we expect Sunday’s weather to be similar to what we experienced today. So overall, it was a good start even with the small crash and in addition, I didn’t set a single lap time with the soft tyre at the end, but I still finished inside the top ten. As a result, I have to be happy and I’m ready to improve tomorrow"

Profil  

   

Smith and Espargaro confident of speeding to success at Brno

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro confidently head to the Czech Republic ready to fight with determination as they intend to score two more top results at the 11th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship. Both riders, who jetted straight from Indianapolis to Brno for the back-to-back races, will seek to ride their Yamaha YZR-M1’s to glory in front of the Brno crowd, which normally has the largest spectator attendance in the entire World Championship. However, the 5.4 kilometre Czech circuit is not just a firm favourite for fans but also for riders and it has hosted a MotoGP race every year since 1987, apart from a one year absence in 1992. It’s undulating corners and rapid changes in elevation always provide an entertaining spectacle and this year’s 22 lap sprint promises to be another thrilling race for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders.

Bradley Smith fully intends to continue his impressive form aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 as he looks to battle to another noteworthy finish in Sunday’s race. The British rider who arrives in the Czech Republic after a season of delights so far and fresh from concluding the Indianapolis Grand Prix in 6th position, will be gunning for the leading satellite position once again. Meanwhile Pol Espargaro aims to speed to a solid result at the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky on Sunday in order to continue his climb up the championship standings. The Spaniard will be entering his 150th Grand Prix start at Brno and will aim to celebrate his record by finishing inside the top six.

   
Bradley Smith
  Championship : 5th Points : 97

Bradley Smith - 2015"Next up is the Czech Grand Prix at Brno, which is a circuit that I enjoy racing on. The big hills and undulating corners are good fun to ride on the Yamaha and I think we can do a thorough job there this weekend. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks going from the Suzuka 8 Hours in Japan, to Indianapolis and then straight to Brno, but fatigue is not an issue and I’m excited to put on a great show for the fans that come to the race. As always our plan is to get up to speed as soon as possible. The base setting that we have has been strong at every GP so far this year and with any luck that will be the same case at Brno. Nevertheless, there will be work to do but I am going to push as hard as possible so that I can hopefully cross the line as the leading satellite rider again. After the race we have a test day and then I will begin focusing on the next GP which is my home Grand Prix at Silverstone and it is definitely one of the highlights of my year."

Profil 

   
Pol Espargaro
  Championship : 9th Points : 73

Pol Espargaro - 2015"I’m looking forward to the Czech Grand Prix, not only as it’s awesome to ride but also because it’s my 150th race start. Therefore, I am fully determined to get a strong result to celebrate this statistic. After a bit of an up and down season so far, I am confident about being comfortable on the bike and I am ready to get up to where I need to be, which is right behind the factory riders. I’ve had some great battles in Brno in the past as well as a few podium finishes so I hope that we can put on a good show again this weekend. Of course, we must get everything set up straight away in order to be prepared, especially for qualifying where we must be ready so that we can ensure a good grid position, as this is vital for the final race result. However, I fully trust my team and Yamaha as I know they will give me everything I need to be fast. I can’t wait to steer my M1 around the hills in the Czech republic and do my best to grab a top six finish!"

Profil 

   
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"It’s always a pleasure to go to the Brno circuit with MotoGP and we have seen some truly memorable battles there over the years. For this year, we fully expect to see both Brad and Pol as close as possible to the factory riders. It’s always a bit tricky doing a back-to-back race, but we will give the guys the best possible bike so they can do a super job. Brad has raised some eyebrows and really impressed us all with his maturity and determined efforts this year so we know he will be aiming to score a strong result in the 22 lap race in order to increase the deficit to Andrea Dovizioso and the other riders behind him in the world championship standings. As for Pol, he will give absolutely everything he has got, as usual, so therefore we expect him to be right up there with his teammate and fighting inside the top six in the race on Sunday. We all look forward to entertaining the massive crowd that goes the track and cannot wait to get the ball rolling!” 

 

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