2015 - Spain - Jerez

Impressive Espargaro surges to 5th in Andalusia

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro powered to a superbly executed result of 5th position in Jerez for round 4 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship. The young Spanish rider began the day brilliantly by storming to 1st position in this morning’s warm up, which left him full of optimism for the 27 lap race. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion had a fantastic launch from the head of the second row of the grid to enter the first corner in third place and right behind the leading bikes. He quickly set into his race pace as he attempted to keep his position from Valentino Rossi and remained with the leading pack at the front of the field. He was shuffled back to 4th on the third lap and became involved in a tussle with Crutchlow and with over half of the race distance left to run, the Spaniard had been shuffled back fifth. Here he continuously set consistent lap times and sustained a gap to the pursuing riders and remained comfortably ahead before reaching the chequered flag in this position.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith produced a determined ride to finish in 8th position at the Gran Premio bwin de Espana which extends his positive run so far in the 2015 season. The young British rider leapt off the line from 10th on the grid as the lights went out and finished the first lap two places higher. Smith then intended to move further up the field and he reached 7th on the second lap as he set into his race rhythm. With 10 laps remaining, Smith continued to push from 8th position which gave his chasing rivals no chance of catching him as he then attempted to hunt down Aleix Espargaro in front. The British star met the finish flag in 8th and his result sees him remain in 7th in the championship after another positive display. Now Smith looks forward to the upcoming test day tomorrow before heading to the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team’s home race in a fortnight’s time in Le Mans.

   
Pol Espargaro
Position : 5th Championship : 9th  Points : 26

Pol Espargaro - 2015"It was a positive close to the weekend and I’m glad that I was able to get a strong result in front of my fans. I had a great start and the only mistake that I made was that I may have pushed a bit too much when I was behind Valentino as I was trying to follow him. I stayed with him for a few laps but I became tired and suffered a bit with arm pump towards the end of the race. So ultimately, I tried to stay consistent on the used tyres and keep Iannone at bay, who was closing in on me. In the end, the gap to the leader was quite big which is not what we hoped for, but finishing 5th is a positive start to the European races, especially considering the result last year. I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow as we have some configurations and different settings to try which could be very important at tracks which don’t have a lot of grip, like this one. We were able to test a few things during the weekend but with such a limited amount of time available this is always a bit difficult, however, tomorrow we can assess everything much more thoroughly."

Profil

 

Bradley Smith
Position : 8th Championship : 7th  Points : 36

Bradley Smith - 2015"I am happy to go back home with another top eight finish and some valuable championship points in my pocket after the tricky weekend we have had. My plan was to get into a consistent race pace and then stay in it. The start was great and I tried to stay as close as possible to Aleix as I knew he was using the softer option of tyre so there was a chance that I could overtake him at the end of the race. Eventually, I managed to close him down a bit but unfortunately not enough to pass him before the finish flag fell. I have had three crashes this weekend so it was important to get a result today even though it was damage limitation. Tomorrow in the test I hope we can spend some time working on solutions for tracks like Jerez, whether that means focusing on my riding style or on different bike settings. It’s certainly not fun having challenging weekends like this one where every time you push, you risk falling. We can’t have weak races this year and lose points in the championship to the other satellite bikes, so it’s back to work tomorrow to find some answers in order to be back fighting again for the leading satellite position at the Tech3 team’s home Grand Prix in Le Mans."

Profil

 

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"Our two riders did a very good job and to have both guys finish in the top eight is a great way to close the weekend. We knew it would be a tough race at this track due to the grip level especially during the second half of the race. I’m sure all of the riders were concerned about the tyres lasting and we weren’t an exception. Yesterday we were struggling in the second part of the race distance when we ran a simulation in practice but fortunately the track temperature dropped slightly which helped us a bit. However, both riders had good starts and overall we have to be pleased with what we achieved here. In all honesty, the battle at the front was not as intense as the first three races, but the most important thing for us is that we are consistently scoring points. Pol clearly learnt a lot from following the top riders like Valentino and Cal and he was unfortunate to experience some arm pump towards the end of the race. Had this not happened, he could have been higher but we are pleased with the result as the guys in front of Pol are more experienced in this class. Nevertheless, the result will be a big confidence boost for him. Bradley had a great recovery from what was a tricky weekend and rode bravely. Perhaps he could have caught Aleix if there was another lap or two, however we are pleased with his work today. It’s very positive to be scoring some great results and collecting points for the team championship. Now we head to France confident plus ready for the action and we are hoping for sunshine at the beautiful Le Mans circuit." 

 

Espargaro storms to 4th on the grid in Jerez qualifying thriller

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaro will launch from the head of the second row for round 4 of the MotoGP World Championship in front of his home fans at Jerez, after a superbly executed performance in qualifying 2 in very hot weather conditions. The young Spaniard began his day with a notable finish of 2nd in this morning’s FP3 session with his flying lap of 1’38.547 being merely 0.054 from the top time and left him fully confident of a strong performance in the qualifying 2 dash. After the session commenced, the 2014 rookie of the year leapt into action straight away and set his best time of 1’38.539 on only his second lap out of six which was strong enough to clinch 4th when the chequered flag fell. Espargaro’s effort saw him finish as the leading satellite bike in the field and also agonizingly close to the front row which he was just 0.071 back from. Nevertheless, his performance leaves him highly optimistic of seizing a top result tomorrow in the 27 lap sprint in his home country.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith will kick-start his fourth round MotoGP campaign from 10th position on the grid in Andalusia at the highly anticipated first European GP of the year. The 23 year old rider began his day by finishing in 9th with a top lap of 1’38.924 in FP3, which allowed him to pass straight through to Q2. With the ground temperature at a scorching 53 degrees, the 15 minute shootout got underway and Smith set his fastest time of 1’39.491 on his third lap around the 4.4 kilometre track. He unfortunately suffered a fall at the end of the session, yet was not injured and he will start from the 4th row tomorrow and intends to follow up his two consecutive top six finishes this season by battling for the position of the leading satellite MotoGP rider once again.

   
Pol Espargaro
Position : 4th Time : 1'38.539  Laps : 6

Pol Espargaro - 2015"I am super happy with my performance today and it was a positive day overall for us. We had two sets of new tyres for qualifying practice 2 which meant that we opted to do two runs only. During the second, my first lap was really strong but unfortunately, I made a slight mistake and ran wide in the third sector of the circuit. Everything is so tight in this championship so even the smallest of mistakes can cost you a lot of positions. Therefore, the result leaves a bit of a bitter sweat taste in my mouth as I could have been on the front row, but at the same time I am very happy, especially after the tricky qualifying that we had in Argentina. I am definitely looking forward to the race tomorrow even though we all know that factors usually change a bit overnight. Valentino is behind us and of course he will have a strong showing, but we intend to have a good start and then stay with the guys in front. The key for tomorrow will be tyre management especially in these incredibly hot conditions, but I am very excited to be racing again in my home country and I will do my best to put on a good show for the fans."

Profil

 

Bradley Smith
Position : 10th Time : 1'39.491  Laps : 8

Bradley Smith - 2015"Overall, it was a tricky day, but to qualify in tenth is not so bad after the challenging weekend that we have had so far. Unfortunately for some reason, this afternoon when we switched from one bike to the other, due to the fall in FP4, the feeling on the bike was completely different. The second crash that I had today, in Q2, was entirely my fault and I missed the braking point and ran onto the gravel so I am sorry to the team for this, as it was my error. Even if this position is far from ideal, we have already shown this year that we can bounce back strongly so now we need to analyse our data and make a plan for tomorrow. This morning I felt that my race pace was quite positive, so we have to get back to that level. It will be a tough race for sure due to the heat and tyre preservation will be crucial, but I will give it my all as always."

Profil

 

 

Espargaro kicks off proceedings brightly under the Andalusian sun

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro opened his Jerez account with a firm finish of 8th place in the combined practice times on the first day of action at round four of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship in Jerez. The young Spaniard took off at full speed straight away in front of his fans as he lapped the legendary 4.4 kilometre circuit 19 times whilst establishing a setup for the race on Sunday. He closed the opening practice in 5th with a time of 1’39.871 that was only one tenth of a second back from third which left him primed to carry on the encouraging start in the afternoon. Here, the 2014 MotoGP rookie of the year continued his work, yet unfortunately a technical issue halted his run in the second half of free practice 2, which caused him to pull over. Nevertheless, he audaciously sprinted straight back to the pits and jumped on his second bike. He still was able to improve in the session and his time of 1’39.953 was strong enough to clinch 8th. Tomorrow the Spaniard will aim to make the most of the perfect riding conditions in Andalusia and he then will intend to seize a strong qualifying position ahead of the 27 lap race on Sunday.

Meanwhile Britain’s Bradley Smith began the Jerez round of the MotoGP World Championship with a finish of 16th place overall in today’s free practice sessions. Smith completed FP1 in 16th position as he started to refine and adjust the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1, in preparation for race day on Sunday. In the afternoon, the young British rider pushed onwards as he aimed to cut his time further and set his quickest lap of 1’40.293 on the 17th out of 20. This performance saw him finish the first session in 11th place and three tenths of a second behind his teammate. The 23 year old rider remains fully confident of progressing and undertaking the positive setup work with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team, in tomorrow morning’s FP3 session ahead of the all important qualifying shootout.

   
Pol Espargaro
Position : 8th Time : 1'39.871  Laps : 15

Pol Espargaro - 2015"It was a strong start to the weekend and I’m pleased with our efforts and how the first day went overall. The morning session was really positive and I was happy as we had a good feeling on the bike as soon as the wheels started moving. The lap times came quite easily too as I was comfortable and content with my Yamaha. Yet in the afternoon our plans were disrupted by a technical issue. As a result, we had to change the bike which altered our working plan that we had in place for the session and this especially impacted upon the tyre situation as we didn’t want to use too many new tyres today. So, we didn’t extract the full potential of the session however, we were able to improve the lap time and we remain close to the top riders. It was a good start to the weekend even if I had to sprint back to the pit box after my bike stopped!"

Profil

 

Bradley Smith
Position : 16th Time : 1'40.293  Laps : 20

Bradley Smith - 2015"All in all, today has been quite a challenging one for me, yet despite the final position, we managed to gain a lot of valuable information which leaves me positive of improving for the rest of the weekend. The team and I tried the different front and rear tyres as well as a new setting on my second bike.
Although we didn’t discover anything hugely promising with the setup, we definitely have a clear direction to head towards tomorrow in order to have a good qualifying. Of course it will be vital to get into the top ten in the morning so that we can advance to QP2. We still have a lot of work to undertake, but I feel optimistic of a strong race this weekend as we know which areas need to be amended, so we will be ready to do better tomorrow."

Profil

 

Tech3 ready to hit Spanish asphalt at full speed

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro return to Europe this weekend for round 4 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship fully confident of seizing success in the battle at Jerez. After the opening three rounds in Qatar, Texas and Argentina, the MotoGP paddock will embark on the European run, starting in Andalusia at the 4.4 kilometre circuit which is a firm favourite for riders and fans alike. The circuit can accommodate up to 250,00 fans who typically attend the event full of enthusiasm and passion.

Britain’s Bradley Smith who has started his third year aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 brightly, will determinedly seek to follow up his strong double of two top six finishes in the last two races. Once again, he will aim to fight to finish as the leading satellite rider with another noticeable display at the fast flowing Circuito de Jerez. Young Spanish rider Pol Espargaro will look to storm to a top tier result in front of his home fans and join his teammate in fighting for the honours of the fastest satellite MotoGP rider in Sunday’s 27 lap race. Espargaro has won twice at the circuit in the lower leagues and intends to add another strong finish to his successful tally here.

   
Bradley Smith
  Championship : 7th  Points : 28

Bradley Smith - 2015"I’m really excited about racing at Jerez this weekend and I aim to continue the positive momentum that I have so far this season. As it’s my third year with the team aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1, I know the bike and the guys all well by now and I know we can be strong here in front of the superb crowd. The start of the year has been great and we’ve been in the hunt for the leading satellite position at every race so far. Now it’s time to take to the European soil and fight for this again. This track has a special place in my heart as I won my first race in the 125cc class in 2009 and I’ve had some other strong results here as well, so this weekend I will be aiming to extend my positive record. The track is fast flowing and as always, Friday and Saturday will be crucial for setting up the bike for Sunday, but we are full of optimism and I can’t wait to start the fight again."

Profil

 

Pol Espargaro
  Championship : 9th  Points : 15

Pol Espargaro - 2015"After the first three races, we’re heading back to Europe and for the first GP in my home country, which is always brilliant. The fans really help and motivate me and in Jerez the support is incredible. So I want to repay them with a great show in the race. We have been a bit unlucky in the three opening rounds and couldn't perform at our best, therefore I wasn't able to challenge my teammate. Yet, the team is doing a great job and I feel confident on the bike so overall, I am ready to go and challenge for the positions that I want and need to be in. The track is fast and it’s such good fun to ride on the Yamaha, which really likes the rapid corners. We have a few things to work on, but we will hit the ground running, aim to qualify well and then see what happens. It was nice that we had a few days back at home to relax before we go to Andalusia for round 4 and the first European race, where I feel more confident about competing on these familiar tracks."

Profil

 

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"We’ve had good fun in the first three rounds around the planet and now it’s time to go racing in Europe. We achieved some solid finishes in the fly away races with both riders, even though these races were a bit tricky with the increased competition this year. Brad has done a top job so far and is riding where he should be, whereas Pol has been a little bit unlucky but never gave up, particularly in Argentina where he finished in 8th after qualifying in 18th. This year is the 29th successive season that we have ridden at Jerez so we know the track very well and have lots of data available. With regards to my expectations, I hope for more of the same from Brad after his three strong results and we expect him to fight for the top 6 again. As for Pol who showed great determination at the last round, we know he will give his all this Sunday, like every race, and put in another great effort to finish strongly. The crowd will spur him on and we know both our guys can be strong at the meandering Jerez circuit.." 

 

 

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