2015 - France - Le Mans

Successful compartment syndrome surgery for Pol Espargaró

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Espargaro - 2015Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaró has undergone surgery on his right forearm in order to solve the issue known as ‘compartment syndrome’, or otherwise, arm pump. Espargaró experienced a large amount of discomfort in his arm during the previous Grand Prix race in France and suffered a loss of force that began during the 7th lap. This pain is not habitual and had just sporadically affected him before. Already after the race at the Grand Prix of Spain on the 3rd of May, the Spanish rider was experiencing pain and so a recovery process using physiotherapy was undertaken. However, the persistence of these symptoms signalled that a medical review was needed. Following this, it was decided that the rider should receive surgery immediately to begin his recovery process as soon as possible to arrive in the best condition for the next round of the MotoGP World Championship which is on May 31st in Mugello, Italy. The operation took place at the Hospital Nisa Pardo Aravaca (Madrid) and was successfully performed by Dr. Angel Villamor. Espargaró will be reviewed later this week.

Pol Espargaró :

"I had noticed this discomfort in my arm after some events before and I thought that it would get better quickly after the end so the race, but it didn’t. Therefore I went to visit a physical therapist about the discomfort I had in my right forearm after Le Mans and we quickly discovered that I needed to see a specialist. We decided to reduce the time between consultation and surgery, with the doctor Angel Villamor, in order to have as much time as possible between the operation and the next race. The truth is that I had experienced that sensation before but I did not consider it important, but unfortunately in these last two races it has been a little more serious. In Jerez, I believed that I suffered pain due to the type of circuit and the effort that I made during the first few laps trying to follow Lorenzo and Marquez and then Rossi and Crutchlow. Yet, in Le Mans it was even worse because I struggled very early in the race being nearly unable to ride the bike. Fortunately, the operation went well and I can now start working again in order to get in the best possible physical condition for the upcoming races.

 

 

Smith shines on Tech3 home turf to finish as leading satellite rider

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Bradley Smith completed a notable weekend at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in 6th position aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. As the 28 lap battle commenced under glorious sunshine at the legendary Le Mans circuit, Smith undertook a strong start and fought his way through an intense first lap to hold on to his qualifying position of 6th. The young British rider tailed the leading riders before successfully catching and overtaking Marquez on lap five and then opening a gap on him. Smith’s formidable race rhythm and consistent lap times kept him in a fast pace and with half race distance reached, the 23 year old was running in 5th position. With 8 laps remaining, Smith had impressively closed the deficit to Andrea Iannone and was involved in a memorable and fierce fight for 4th position. Smith stayed right in the hunt and eventually finished the race in 6th but just a hair’s breadth back from Marquez and Iannone. This result puts him as the leading satellite rider at the round five battle and sees him now only one point behind 6th place in the riders championship standings.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro rode a strong race to overhaul five riders and finish in 7th position after a challenging qualifying which saw him start the 28 lap race from 12th on the grid. The young Spaniard undertook a solid start to clinch 9th at the close of the first lap at the Le Mans circuit. He pushed onwards and continued to clock fast and continuous lap times and was running in 8th with five laps completed. The 2014 MotoGP rookie of the year remained focused and at half race distance was in 7th place having scored some competitive lap times to gap the chasing riders. He met the chequered flag in this position, marking a positive close to a tricky weekend. Espargaro now looks positively on to Mugello for round six of the MotoGP World Championship where he will intend to battle for the leading satellite position.

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 6th Championship : 7th  points : 46

Bradley Smith - 2015 "I am happy and it was a great way to end the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s home race! The track conditions really warmed up today, which meant that we all went a bit into the unknown as it was much cooler on the other days. Therefore our setting was slightly limited at the beginning of the race because it resulted in me tucking the front a few times in the opening laps. However, to end up fighting with the reigning MotoGP World Champion and with another factory rider is where we want to be so I have to be happy with finishing as the leading satellite bike. We’ve also gained some championship points on Cal, so we have accomplished what we set out to achieve. Of course, it would have been even better to reach 4th but at one point I thought that Marc and Andrea may collide, so I gave myself enough space in case they did! Anyway, it was useful for me to watch this battle as I learnt a lot and I can use this knowledge in future races."

Profil

 

Pol Espargaro
Position : 7th Championship : 8th  Points : 35

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "After the race that we had here last year, I came to Le Mans with high expectations, so today can just be considered as damage limitation. We had a tough weekend from the word go and my feelings with the bike were never at their best. Yet, this morning in warm up we modified the setting of my M1 completely and to be honest things improved considerably for the race. My start was ok and I was able to follow the riders at the front during the opening laps, but then I had to sustain the gap to the riders behind me, due to another, non bike related issue. So to leave France with nine additional points in the championship is not too bad, although it’s definitely not what we aim for. We now have to think about the next steps to take in order to improve our performance in Mugello in two week’s time."

Profil

 

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"It was an amazing race, I am delighted with both riders and what they achieved today. Brad had an incredible weekend and topped it off with a good finish. Across all three days he was fast, consistent and made no mistakes and from the start until the finish flag, he gave 100% plus, it was an incredible moment when we saw him catch and then open a gap on Marquez. The race then went quite, but he didn’t give up and we saw him easily close down Iannonne so we thought we had 4th in the bag. However, in the end it was a great battle between those three riders and definitely the best fight in the race. To finish behind Marquez and Iannone as well as the first non factory bike was mission accomplished plus we were right in the mix. I want to say thanks to Brad for showing his determination and staying cool plus, without doubt, he learnt a lot. Pol had a strong race compared to the qualifying yesterday and turned his weekend around to get a decent result from 12th on the grid. He set off well, overtook three riders in the first lap and continued to make good progress through the field. In the second half of the race he could see that he wasn’t going to catch the guys in front, so he did his best to the keep the gap to the chasing rider. It was a great day for motorcycle racing in France and for us at our home race, as we managed to close the gap to Repsol Honda in the team championship standings where we are now just behind 3rd position by three points. I also want to congratulate Yamaha for their outstanding performance at Le Mans." 

 

Best qualifying of the year for Smith at the Tech3 Teams home Grand Prix

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Bradley Smith continued his strong form at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in qualifying today and will launch from the rear of the second row in tomorrow’s 28 lap sprint around the Le Mans circuit. The British rider began the day by undertaking some additional setup work in FP3 this morning where the track conditions were much colder when compared with day 1. Nevertheless, his brilliant time from yesterday’s free practice 2, where he clinched 1st position, was strong enough for him to graduate straight through to QP2. When rain started to fall at lunchtime before FP4, it looked like it would interfere with the Q2 session, yet the track had dried when the 15 minute shootout began. Here, Smith leapt into action straight away and powered onwards to ride a 1’33.299 lap time, confirming his sixth place on the grid which is his highest qualifying position this season. Tomorrow he will aim to undertake a flying start and then challenge for the leading satellite rider position at the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s home Grand Prix.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Pol Espargaro will begin from 12th place on the grid after a challenging qualifying 2 session at the 4.2 kilometre Le Mans circuit. The Spaniard produced a lap time of 1’33.694 in FP3 which saw him progress through to the second 15 minute shootout. As Q2 got underway, Espargaro took off at speed as he looked to seize a strong starting position for the race and ultimately he produced a personal best time of 1’33.724 on his final lap out of 9. Tomorrow he will intend to ride relentlessly through the field to end round 5 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship on a high.

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 6th Time : 1'33.299  Laps : 9

Bradley Smith - 2015"I’m really happy to be on the second row as I said at the beginning of the event that this was my target in the qualifying. However, on my flying lap, I made a mistake which probably prevented me from doing a high 1’32 lap time, so I could have been even higher, but I’m still delighted with what we achieved today. The team did a great job, especially considering the tricky conditions and we certainly made the right decision with the front tyre choice today and I felt confident. At the moment it’s a bit uncertain for everyone with regards to the race pace, however our race setting is strong so therefore I feel comfortable. This is especially important at this track because of the hard braking points and also the length of the Grand Prix. Everything went to plan today, but tomorrow is the most important day and I aim to start well and then follow the front guys for as long as possible, like I did in Austin, in order to score a great result here in France."

Profil

 

Pol Espargaro
Position : 12th Time : 1'33.724  Laps : 8

Pol Espargaro - 2015"For sure, today was not my best day and I hoped that we could have qualified in a higher position, like we did last year. However, suddenly in the Q2 session we found that we had an issue with the turning of the bike and there wasn’t enough time to fix this so it was impossible to improve the lap time even though the time that I set wasn’t super fast. I can’t hide my disappointment especially after the performance that we showed here last year, so I arrived with high expectations. Yet, the race hasn’t happened already and the points are still there to be taken, so the team and I will work to improve my feeling with my bike for tomorrow where I will fight for a strong result at the Tech3 team’s home race."

Profil

 

 

Flying start sees Smith top of the field at Tech3s Home GP

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith delivered a sensational FP2 performance to top the standings at the close of the first day of action at the French Grand Prix. The young Briton kicked off proceedings under bright and sunny weather conditions at the Tech3 team’s home race by finishing the opening session in 10th place with a lap time of 1’34.729. He then burst into action in the overcast afternoon practice before blazing to a superb time of 1’33.179 aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1 on his 18th lap out of 19. This time put him at the head of the field and 0.190 of a second ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. Despite the 23 year old unfortunately falling at turn 13 in the dying moments of the session, his performance today leaves him fully motivated for the race on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro completed the opening day of practice in 8th position after producing a solid display at the legendary 4.2 kilometre Le Mans circuit. The young Spaniard started the day with a finish of 5th in the FP1 session, having ran in 1st position until the closing stages of the practice. His final time was a 1’34.331 that left him only 0.051 behind second place as he intended to continue his efforts in the afternoon. Here, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion rode relentlessly and produced a top time of 1’33.903 on his final lap. Yet, he was unlucky to fall towards the end of the practice whilst trying to improve his time further, although he did not suffer any injuries. However, his positive start to the weekend sees him charged with confidence for the qualifying tomorrow where he will aim to repeat his result of 2nd place on the grid at last year’s event in Le Mans.

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 1st Time : 1'33.179  Laps : 38

Bradley Smith - 2015"Today was a great start to the weekend and I’m delighted to finish in first on the opening day in Le Mans at the Tech3 team’s home Grand Prix, which is also sponsored by Monster Energy. The team and I did a top job in the Jerez test where we made considerable steps forward with the front forks and the electronic settings. Moreover, we made consistent progress from the word go today and I must say that I feel much more comfortable here when compared to last year which was a tough weekend for me. I unfortunately fell in the final moments of the session but I don’t consider it to be my fault. Aleix went down in front of me so I got distracted and ran wide and then went onto the dirt and rode over a rock which caused the crash. This is annoying, but nevertheless it’s certainly super to finish the opening day at the top of the field and I’m fired up for the rest of the weekend."

Profil

 

Pol Espargaro
Position : 8th Time : 1'33.903  Laps : 38

Pol Espargaro - 2015"Overall today was quite a good start to the weekend. This morning my feelings on the bike were positive straight away and our pace was really promising. When the second session started, I went out on a new rear tyre but I had a few difficulties to face as the behaviour of the bike had changed from this morning. Yet, when we swapped the tyre at the end of the session, the issues that we had, just disappeared. We do not know why this sometimes happens, but it's not the first time this season that some new rear tyres have not had the same level of performance as the others. Beside that, I unfortunately made a mistake and crashed at the end of the back straight in the closing stages of the session without being able to set a fast lap. Therefore the gap to Bradley, who was 1st in the practice, does not worry me and I'm confident that I will be up there with him tomorrow afternoon."

Profil

 

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