2015 - Spain - Valencia

Tech3 pair eager for 2016 after positive Valencia test

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro successfully wrapped up his final appearance on track for the year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit today with a run to 8th position. The Spaniard partially sampled his new Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike for the 2016 season and continued his work with the Michelin tyres in order to start collecting valuable information for next year. Espargaro’s best time of 1’31.619, which he set on his penultimate lap, saw him close the test in 9th place in the combined standings, which a gap of just over half a second to the time at the top of the field.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith began his in-depth and methodical work with his new MotoGP bike for the forthcoming year whilst also continuing to the test the Michelin tyres. The Briton rode relentlessly and eventually completed more laps around the circuit than any other MotoGP rider today, outlining his intent to understand his new Yamaha YZR-M1 as well as the tyres fully. He set a personal best time of 1’31.694 which was only 0.075 from his teammate and now the 24 year old rider confidently awaits the next outing at the three day Sepang Test in February.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 9th

Time : 1'31.619 Laps : 51

Pol Espargaro - 2015"Overall, I am quite satisfied with what we achieved in the test, although, of course, there are many factors to improve in the future as it was just the first time on the new bike with the new tyres. The day didn’t start perfectly as I fell in the morning which made me lose a bit of time, but the team repaired the bike quickly. Then, together with the Michelin guys, we started to work on getting a better feeling in the front and achieved our goal. I was able to set a solid lap time and although it wasn’t incredible, I’m very pleased as the rhythm was good and we must remember that it was only the first two days of pre season testing so we can be satisfied with our performance. There are a lot of things that can change in the future, plus I need to adapt my riding style more to suit to the Michelin tyres. Also, I think that the riders who were using softer tyres this season, have a slight advantage at the moment as they are used to a higher level of rear grip compared to us and that’s definitely a characteristic of Michelin tyres. However, altogether I’m satisfied with how this test went, but we need to bear in mind that all tracks are different and Sepang is very dissimilar when compared to Valencia, so we will see how things go in February. Nevertheless, I am already looking forward to getting back on the my Yamaha after the winter break.”

Profil 

Bradley Smith
Position : 10th Time : 1'31.694 Laps : 71

Bradley Smith - 2015

"We can be pleased with what we have achieved and it was a big day where I completed 71 laps as we focused on my new bike for 2016. The team and I needed to understand what sort of Yamaha we will ride next year, which in all honesty, was a big task as we had to go through everything thoroughly. This wasn’t necessarily to make things better instantly, but it was for knowledge which will help to prevent any potential issues in the future. After last year, we know how vital this is and hence, this is why I rode so many laps. In the end, we ran out of soft rear tyres so I had to use the hard compound, but I was still able to improve my time from yesterday even though the conditions were a bit tricky in the last hour here. In addition, we should only compare my lap time to the other satellite riders as we had just two front and rear compounds available, while the factory guys had more options to try. Altogether, I’m satisfied as it has been a positive day and we now have a very good understanding of the bike as well as a solid base to start 2016 with. It’s time to pack away my M1 for the winter break and I look forward to seeing it again in February!”

Profil 

2016 season preparation kicks off for Espargaro and Smith

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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro launched into his testing programme today during the first day of track action after the Valencia GP as the 2016 season preparations got underway. The young Spanish rider focused on sampling the new Michelin tyres and then set about exploring setup options on his MotoGP bike. At the close of the day, his best time was just under three-tenths from third and left him in 7th as he now confidently looks forward to riding his updated 2015 Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time tomorrow in the final day of track action this year.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith continued the positive momentum from his impressive 2015 season where he finished 6th in the standings as he started to get to grips with the new Michelin tyres. Similarly to this teammate, the Briton took steps forward in modifying the base setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1 to suit the French tyre manufacturer. The 24 year old rider’s best time was just 0.060 back from his teammate and left him in 8th. He now aims to make further advances tomorrow after a tireless effort today.

   
Pol Espargaro

Position : 7th

Time : 1'37.937 Laps : 40

Pol Espargaro - 2015"All in all it has been quite a positive first day as the lap times of the whole field were competitive compared to this weekend’s times. Yet, there were a lot of crashes as we are all trying to adapt and we can’t expect everything to be perfect as soon as we start. However, I’m happy that we have another day of testing as we need to progress and try more options so that I will have a better feeling before we head into the winter break. I know that Michelin are working hard to improve the front tyre, which is the main issue at the moment, but I must also say that the rear compound is already really good. We have my new bike for 2016, which is the Factory Yamaha’s bike from this season that I will finally ride tomorrow and therefore, I’m fired up to close the test in a positive manner.”

Profil 

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 8th Time : 1'37.997 Laps : 67

Bradley Smith - 2015

"Day one has been completed here in Valencia and I feel that we had a really productive time. It goes without saying that for everyone today, the circumstances were new as we were all using Michelin tyres. Yet, from the information that we already had from Malaysia and Aragon, we were in a better situation to start from. I began this morning with this year’s bike and we worked to find a base setting in order to try and explore the potential of the tyres as much as possible. For my final run, we sampled my 2016 bike which we will really start to work with tomorrow in order to understand it’s capabilities as five laps was just a small appetiser of what is to come. It’s very early stages but we can already see that we have a bike for next year with more potential as I ran similar lap times on both versions. I am confident in saying that we are heading in the right direction and we have a clear development plan that we want to continue to test. So, I am happy with the work from myself and also from the team and I look forward to getting back on track tomorrow.”

Profil 

   

 

Espargaro powers to 5th in season finale at Valencia

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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro stormed to 5th today to close the year strongly in front of his home crowd of over 110,000 people at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. The young Spaniard commenced his battle from the third row and completed the first lap in 8th, whilst attempting to jump past the riders in front. He set into his fierce race pace and after setting a series of consistent lap times, he was up to 6th by the mid point of the event. Afterwards he eventually soared across the finish line in 5th to clinch the leading satellite honours at the last round of the 2015 MotoGP season thus completing a positive weekend. The solid result today saw Espargaro overtake Danilo Petrucci n in the championship standings and finish his second year in the premier class in 9th position.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith fought determinedly to conclude the 30 lap sprint right behind his teammate at the Ricardo Tormo circuit today. The young Briton began the GP from the rear of the second row on the grid and bolted forward when the lights went out before quickly locking into his formidable race rhythm. He then started his ascent, before brilliantly diving past Andrea Dovizioso, his championship rival, on lap 26. The fight continued and Smith carried on his pace as he diced right until the chequered flag but finished ahead and sealed 6th as well as the leading satellite rider position in the World Championship standings.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 5th

Championship : 9th Points : 114

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "Finally, I am pleased with the result and I’m happy to end the season like this. It was a good GP and I completed the race just behind the factory riders so we can’t complain, plus it’s a really positive feeling to close the year in this way. We had to face some difficulties during the season but we worked hard and it seems that we found a solution for some of them here. I was struggling a bit with the front tyre when running on full fuel load. However, in the race, as soon as the fuel level decreased and the laps passed by, I found my rhythm and in the end, I managed to overtake Dovizioso even though the Ducati is a beast on the straight! I passed him a few times and initially it seemed that I couldn’t open a gap, but I was finally able to post a series of rapid lap times which enabled me to escape and then ride comfortably until the end of the GP. It has been a tough year and probably one of the most disappointing ones in the World Championship for me. We weren’t able to make the most out of all of the races and it goes without saying that it was quite frustrating at times. Yet, the team has always been behind me and has given me a lot of support. We have a good feeling internally which we kept even during the difficult times and this is the most important thing. Of course, we may have had a few disagreements, but this is what happens when you want to grow and improve. So I must say thanks to them for always supporting me, and now, we will try to advance next year. I hope all of the bad luck that we had this season won’t repeat itself in 2016 and I am sure we can have a strong year together.”

Profil  

Bradley Smith
Position : 6th Championship : 6th Points : 181

Bradley Smith - 2015

"It has been a fantastic season and almost perfect after completing all of the 18 rounds, even though I’m a bit disappointed to miss out on our target of finishing as the leading satellite rider today. However, I can’t be hard on myself as I ended up in the top six and I collected a total of 181 points over the year. I am very proud of this, but I am especially pleased with my performance in the second half of the season. In all honesty, after the summer break I think I made another step forward with my qualifying as well as some of my race performances. Anyway, this track wasn’t easy for me and we struggled a bit all weekend, but to be there fighting in the second group was satisfying. We have to look back on all of the ups and downs of the year and then improve on the negatives because we have to do a better job next season. In this sport, you can’t just stay at the same level, so we need to see how we can make another step forward. 2016 will be a new challenge and experience, but I’m already very excited to begin on Tuesday at the test. I’m also looking forward to a bit of a rest as it’s been a demanding year with all of the work that we’ve been doing for MotoGP, plus the Suzuka 8 Hours as well. I want to give a big thanks to all of the team who did a fantastic job. Although I didn’t make any mistakes, they didn’t either with their jobs and to make a Yamaha YZR-M1 work for 18 races without any issues, highlights the great job they have done. I am proud of everyone at Tech3 and thank you to all. In addition, I also want to say thanks to Bridgestone for all of their support and it has been fantastic for me to work with them for the past three years. They have done a tremendous job and for every season that I have been in MotoGP, they have upped their performance continuously, especially this year. It would have been easy to just roll out and enjoy the season, but they came with even better material and they’ve set the level very high in MotoGP."

Profil  

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

“What an incredible day to close an amazing year of racing in MotoGP. It was really intense all race long whilst we were watching our two guys, who both did an excellent job. Yet, I also cannot hide the fact that we were checking out what was happening at the front so I must give big congratulations to Yamaha again as well as Jorge. Regarding our guys, it was a strong weekend overall and a positive finish for both of them. The start was average but they never gave up and pushed all the way until the chequered flag. In addition, it was quite interesting to see them fighting with the Suzuki and Ducati riders. Ducati have an incredible engine whilst Suzuki have a good chassis, but out of all the three, I think we had the strongest and most efficient package. It’s super to have our two guys in the top six at the last round, plus Pol moved up one place in the championship after taking one point out of Petrucci. Furthermore, his result helped us to secure 4th in the team standings. On the other side of the garage, Bradley did really well today as he has done all year, so I must congratulate him. He is the only rider other than Valentino who has scored points at every event in 2015 with his worst result being 8th, which highlights the fantastic job that he has done. I’m really pleased to see Pol end on a positive note as it was very important for him to get a strong finish to the season. This will help us to go to the test on Tuesday with an even more positive frame of mind and overall, we are a happy team so we will celebrate tonight.”

Smith to charge from the second row at MotoGP season finale

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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith will battle from the second row of the grid after a spirited performance during qualifying today. The young British rider began his day with a run to 4th in FP3 which equalled 5th overall in the combined practice times and saw him pass directly through to qualifying 2. During the vital 15 minute session, Smith leapt into gear and produced a lap time of 1’31.012 that was only half a second from the front row. Tomorrow, he confidently seeks to seize a strong finish in order to clinch the leading satellite honours for the 2015 season.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro will kick off the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana from the third row after a solid effort in qualifying. The Spaniard continued the positive momentum from yesterday by sealing 7th in FP3 and when the qualifying shootout started, he charged forward. Espargaro ultimately completed the session in 8th with a lap time which was a blink of an eye behind his teammate by just 0.068. The 24 year old will now intend to close the season with a notable result by finishing inside the top six in tomorrow’s race.

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 6th Time : 1'31.012 Laps : 9

Bradley Smith - 2015

"Obviously, I am very happy with my qualifying position for the last Grand Prix of the year. It was a really great performance by everyone involved and this was highlighted by the fact that we improved one and a half seconds from yesterday. As soon as we got going this morning, I felt much better with the bike and I was able to run consistently. In FP4 we tried three different options for tomorrow’s race so we have a good idea of which direction we need to head towards with the hotter conditions. At this circuit, especially in the morning, the track grip and bike performance is different compared to when we run in the afternoon. Anyway, for qualifying, I’m really happy with what we achieved as to be on the second row is important at such a tight and twisty track like this one. Furthermore, the lap times were close today and for sure, they will also be in tomorrow’s race. So all in all, I am pleased and the result in qualifying sets us up with a great chance to end the season in a positive way.”

Profil  

   
Pol Espargaro

Position : 8th

Time : 1'31.080 Laps :8

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "Overall, the result is not so bad, but I can’t hide my disappointment as our potential was much higher than the final grid position. I wasn’t able to put together an ideal lap as I made a few slight mistakes and there was also some traffic. I couldn’t make the most of the opportunity, which is a shame as I was just 0.163 back from 4th, which was definitely within reach today. Nevertheless, our race pace is very promising, even though it won’t be an easy task as it is really challenging to pass here due to the track layout. Still, we worked on the front tyre during FP4 and we have made the choice for the race, so despite the fact that we need a good start, I am still really confident for the last race of the 2015 season."

Profil  

   

Solid start to the final race for Espargaro under the Spanish sun

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro concluded the first day of action at the season finale in a positive manner by finishing in 8th position overall. The young Spaniard kicked off the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana event at the 4.0 kilometre Ricardo Tormo Circuit with a strong run to 6th in the morning shake down session. When the practice started, he got onto his Yamaha YZR-M1 as he began making the initial alterations to the setup of his bike for the highly anticipated race on Sunday, despite still suffering with his neck injury. After completing a total of 20 laps, his best time of 1’31.892 left him only three tenths back from third and confident of a strong performance later in the day. Espargaro’s solid run continued when the second free practice session got underway and he carried on undertaking the setup changes with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. By the time the chequered flag fell, the 2014 rookie of the year had powered to a quick time of 1’31.674 which saw him just half a second from the top of the field. The Spaniard now focuses on the all important qualifying practice tomorrow, where he will intend to clinch a competitive grid position for final race meeting of 2015, in front of his passionate home crowd.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith endured a challenging opening day, at the last round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, which he concluded in 15th overall despite a thorough effort. The 24 year old began proceedings by launching into the setup work for his Yamaha YZR-M1 to suit the Ricardo Tormo circuit. He plugged away throughout the practice as the sun shone brightly overhead and completed a total of 21 laps before finishing the first session of track action in 17th. In free practice 2, the English rider pushed onwards as he sought to set himself up for the season finale on Sunday and focused on creating a strong setup which meant that he completed over a full race distance on the same rear tyre. Nevertheless, on his penultimate lap out of 22, Smith rode a 1’32.508 which put him in 15th position in the session as well as overall. However, he remains fully confident of battling to a solid grid position tomorrow and then completing his third season in the premier class in the top satellite position in the world championship standings.

   
Pol Espargaro

Position : 8th

Time : 1'31.674 Laps :37

Pol Espargaro - 2015"It has been a very positive first day and I am pleased because it has been quite a long time since we had such a strong start to the weekend. I was able to ride my time fairly easily and the tyres are working really well here, especially the rear which has a lot of grip. This is certainly also thanks to the high grip level of this circuit, which I like riding at and that I know very well. Therefore, I enjoyed being on my Yamaha today and to see the lap times being strong straight away is a really good feeling after this tough season. Now we will see how the weekend unfolds with the changing grip levels and the weather conditions, but we will do our best and try to continue this positive momentum until Sunday's race."

Profil 

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 15th Time : 1'32.508 Laps : 43

Bradley Smith - 2015

"Today was not great in terms of the end result, but I am fully confident that we can progress more tomorrow and get back to where we should be. Throughout the day, we improved gradually and made some small steps forward but we wanted to be as ready for possible for the GP and so we did a lot of laps on the rear tyre in order to get a good race setup. Anyway, we started to find a good direction in FP2 and I am sure that we will be much more competitive with new tyres when we get going again tomorrow. The main area where we have to improve is sector four which is the part of the track that I am struggling with and which also prevented me from setting a stronger lap time. Yet, I’m convinced that the team will work hard tonight and we will surely be back inside the top ten tomorrow morning.”

Profil 

   

Smith and Espargaro geared up for the final show down at Valencia

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will arrive at the Ricardo Tormo circuit prepared and ready for the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana where they aim to close the year with two strong results. After a demanding triple flyaway header, the MotoGP paddock returns to Spain for what promises to be a thrilling end to the 2015 racing season with the 4 kilometre circuit being an incredible stage for the action. The track, which features eight left as well as five right corners, is situated in an amphitheatre that allows the roaring crowd to view every section of the circuit where many memorable battles have been fought in previous years.

Bradley Smith heads to Spain fully primed for the fight as he targets another top six result in order to confirm his status as the leading satellite rider of 2015 as well as 6th in the World Championship standings. The young Briton comes off the back of a superbly executed 4th place finish in Malaysia and as he has positive memories of a previous victory at the Valencia circuit, he confidently seeks to close the year on a high. Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro aims to give his all and fight to a solid finish in his home country, despite still being in pain due to the injury he sustained at the previous round. The young Spaniard unfortunately hurt himself during the warm up at the Malaysian GP and suffered a cervical fissure and sprain. Yet, he brilliantly powered through the pain and persevered to 9th. He will be intending to make amends this weekend, despite not being fully healed, and he hopes to repeat his performance from last year, where he completed the race in 6th and as the leading satellite rider.

   
Bradley Smith
  Championship : 6th Points : 171

Bradley Smith - 2015

Next up is the season finale and I can’t wait to get going at Valencia where I fully intend to close this incredible year with a good result. My main objective is to complete the 30 lap sprint inside the top six so that I can clinch 6th in the championship standings and finish as the leading satellite rider. This will be super for me and the Tech3 Team and a testament to how hard we’ve all worked in 2015. I’ve had some strong performances at Valencia, which includes winning my last 125cc race, plus after achieving three decent results in the fly away GP’s, I am fully confident of doing a good job this weekend. The event is bound to be a memorable one and we definitely need to hit the ground running on Friday. The layout of the track doesn't provide too many chances to overtake, so a solid qualifying performance will be crucial in order to be in a promising position for Sunday. Having said that, the weather there is always unpredictable and so we need to be ready for any circumstance. As far as I know the event is sold out and the grandstands will be packed, which will be great to see, therefore I am really looking forward to the last challenge of the year.”

Profil 

   
Pol Espargaro

 

Championship : 10th Points : 103

Pol Espargaro - 2015"I am looking forward to racing in front of my home fans at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, which is a track that I really enjoy riding on and one that always has an amazing atmosphere. However, I am under no illusions that this round will be easy, especially because I am nursing the neck injury from the Malaysia GP. I am still in pain and to be honest, that race was one of the toughest that I have ever had to ride. It marked a tricky end to the flyaway events, which were all quite challenging and for sure, I would have liked to finish those three races further up the order. However, we never gave up and pushed nonstop so now we will focus on Valencia and I am confident of riding to a solid result. Last year, I completed the GP in sixth, which was a positive way to end the season and even though this may be a bit tricky to repeat due to the competition as well as my injury, it is what I will be hoping for. Having said that, the fans support will really help me and motivate me even more. There will be thousands there and I will do my best to give them a good result to remember the race by. I know that we can conclude the year positively and I will fight through the pain and do my absolute best at Valencia with my Yamaha M1."

Profil 

   
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

“This weekend we will close the 2015 season and I am sure the racing will give the fans a lot to cheer about at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana which is a great venue to hold the last race. We all know about the fight at the top of the field, which will be very entertaining, but for our riders, it will also be very important, as both guys will be battling for their own reasons. Bradley is the favourite to clinch the leading satellite position in the World Championship standings and he has worked incredibly hard, so it’s fair to say that he would deserve it. To finish ahead of a Factory Ducati would be a huge achievement and we are sure he will do a great job especially after his big step up in performance compared to last year. As for Pol, his second season in the premier class has been challenging, but he has never given up. He produced an amazing performance to bravely ride through the pain of his neck injury in Malaysia and although he finished 9th, he showed what he is made of and gave 110% as usual. He has ridden very well at Valencia in the past and as he will be racing in front of his home crowd again, we are convinced this will motivate him and we all behind him too, so he will grit his teeth and go for it. The guys have done a great job this year in what has been a much more competitive season and they will jump on the Yamaha YZR-M1’s one last time and do their best. Anything could happen with the weather and also with the action on the track, but our boys are fired up and ready to fight. We can’t wait to arrive at the Ricardo Tormo track and then hopefully close the year strongly in what has been a hugely successful and entertaining season for the sport.”

 

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