Test1 - Malaysia - Sepang

Tech3 duo successfully wrap up test at Sepang

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro concluded the opening test of 2015 with a strong performance to complete the final day in6th position at the Sepang International Circuit. He battled the tropical heat in Malaysia to post his best time of 1’59.851 in the morning and on his 8th lap when the temperature was cooler. The young Spaniard continued to run 50 laps in total, with his fastest time being more than a second quicker than his personal best from the opening day, as he fired a warning to his rivals for 2015. His efforts saw him finish as the top satellite bike and right behind the factory MotoGP riders as he successfully began the pre season evaluative work on his Yamaha YZR-M1. The 23 year old rider now looks towards getting back on track in a fortnight’s time fully optimistic and determined to plug the gap to the leaders further.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Bradley Smith tirelessly rode 50 laps today to finish his first pre season test in a positive and constructive manner as he set the ball rolling for the 2015 season. The young British rider completed the final day with a best time of 2’00.384, which he set on the 26thlap, leaving him in 9th place and almost a second quicker than his qualifying effort from the Sepang Grand Prix event last year. This leap in performance, despite not being fully fit, highlights Smith’s ambitions for the approaching season and now he looks towards the next Sepang test, full of confidence.

Pol Espargaro
Position : 6th Time : 1'59.851  Laps : 50

Espargaro - Sepang - 2014 "The last day has been a really good one. I’m happy because at the end we could complete a day positively which we are truly satisfied with. The first day was a good start, then yesterday we tried some different thing and had a few difficulties, which we needed to experience in order to understand the best direction to work towards. However to finish the test, today has been very strong and a great conclusion. I was fast, I felt great on the bike, everything went according to plan, the rhythm is truly promising and we found a strong setup. So I’m really enthusiastic about the work we have completed today and cannot wait for the next outing where we will look to improve further. Now, I am going to Thailand for a few days to visit Yamaha which is going to be fantastic and I can’t wait to meet all of the people there"



Bradley Smith
Position : 9th Time : 2'00.384 Laps : 50

Smith - Sepang - 2014 "It’s been a really productive and positive three days here in Sepang and a great way to open the 2015 season. I improved my time around seven tenths of a second every day which shows we are definitely heading in the right direction. Today we sampled a new swinging arm but the results were inconclusive so we will retest this part next time. We also tried some different front forks which gave me a good feeling that I am very happy about. My physical condition didn’t get worse, so I remain optimistic that when we return here my ankle will be completely healed and I can really go for it. In addition, I am very pleased to have improved my personal best time around the Sepang circuit by half a second. It’s been a great three days and I’m happy to be back on my bike. Next up, I head to Thailand for Yamaha which I am very much looking forward to"



Espargaro and Smith battle through the heat on day two at Sepang

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Energy Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro concluded another successful day on track in the searing Sepang heat to post the 7th fastest time as he experimented with different chassis on day two of testing. The young Spaniard undertook another large collective of 57 laps and rode to his quickest one of 2'00.959 right at the beginning of the session on his 7th lap. Some testing time was lost in the afternoon due to the extreme heat which caused a lack of traction, however, once temperatures had cooled, the 2014 rookie of the year went back out to continue working on both chassis and setup options. Although he had a small crash in the afternoon, the 23 year old rider optimistically looks towards tomorrow as he intends to plug the gap to the leading time on his Yamaha YZR-M1.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith proceeded to battle onwards to post a top time of 2'01.098 on the 32nd lap out of 51 in Malaysia, despite still not being fully fit. Similarly to his teammate, his focus today was testing the two different chassis as well as additional general aspects of his 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1, with the overall feeling being positive and confidence boosting. His time left him in 9th position, yet satisfied with his progress after completing the productive work. The young British rider remains poised to continue his evaluation of the new Yamaha tomorrow and to lower his lap time further.

Pol Espargaro
Position : 7th Time : 2'00.959  

Espargaro - Sepang - 2014 "Today was a bit more challenging than yesterday as we were testing chassis plus new parts and there is no clear result on which one I prefer yet, but we are making good progress so I am happy. I tried to improve my lap this afternoon, but I wasn't able to, as it's not the best time to attempt a hot lap due to the track conditions. Anyway, I am not focused on making super fast times for the moment because I would rather concentrate on the bike setup and my riding style, which are progressing positively. I had a small crash this afternoon which was fortunately not damaging to me at all, nor to the bike too much, so I am happy to walk away from that unscathed. Nevertheless, tomorrow is another day and we have a lot more work to undertake which we need to do in the morning due to the temperature in the afternoon, but I look forward to getting back out on track after a good rest tonight. "



Bradley Smith
Position : 9th Time : 2'01.098  

Smith - Sepang - 2014 "Overall, I am pleased with the progress we have made on day two in Malaysia and I am happy to be back in the groove whilst working on some areas that I can evaluate here in Sepang. I'm at about 85% fitness due to my injured right ankle which I hurt in training, however I still managed to complete 103 laps over today and yesterday. I can't move around on the bike as much as I would like to due to the injury and right hand corners are a bit tricky, but I will heal and these are only small details and issues, which can be ironed out later. I'm evaluating the two different chassis at the moment and today I rode both and completed a similar distance. My lap times were close on either chassis, which is a very good sign, so I am certainly happy about what we achieved. Yet, now we need to continue working in order to decide which one has more potential for the upcoming season. There's still some work to do, but we are moving forward."


The wait is over for Tech3 pair as Sepang test begins brightly

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Pol Espargaro kicked off his 2015 campaign with a strong opening run to finish in 6th position on the first day of testing at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia. Today's action saw the MotoGP riders back on track for the first time in over two months as the pre season got into full swing in dry conditions. The 2014 rookie of the year wasted no time in getting up to speed straight away and after tirelessly undertaking 55 laps, he set his quickest time of 2'00.930 on the 29th lap to leave him in 6th and fastest of the satellite MotoGP bikes. His bright start highlighted his firm intent for the 2015 season as his time was a mere four tenths of a second from the top three.

Meanwhile, Britain's Bradley Smith concluded the first day of the 2015 pre season campaign with a ride to 9th place and a best lap of 2'01.707 whilst experimenting with setup options as he looks to continue building up his speed in the following test sessions. The young British rider completed 52 laps of the famous Sepang circuit as he set his quickest time half way through the day on lap 27, aboard the 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1. With two more testing days to follow, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider optimistically looks to lower his lap time whilst he sets about establishing a strong base setup to contest the forthcoming season opener in Qatar at the end of March.

Pol Espargaro : 6th - 2'00.930Espargaro - Sepang - 2015
"It was really nice to be back on track today. Just to be on my Yamaha again and to feel the speed of the M1 has already made me happy. Aside from this, we had a constructive day and I set a good time. I tried to lower my time towards the end of the session, but the track was quite slippery which prevented me from progressing further. However, my rhythm is promising and I remain positive for the next two days. We were able to improve in the key areas that we wanted to, when compared to last season, so I'm already excited to continue testing tomorrow morning. Furthermore, I am able to say that my physical condition has improved a lot from last season when I first rode the bike. This is because my preparation for 2015 with training has been different, yet additionally, I'm also riding smoother, which does not require as much strength. Therefore I could take advantage of the full test time, which had not been the case last year on the opening day"


Bradley Smith : 9th - 2'01.707
"I am happy to have jumped back on the Yamaha today and having completed 52 laps we were able to get a good feeling with the M1 after such a long time off the bike, which is positive start. This week is just going to be a case of providing general feedback because my leg has not quite recovered from the injury, which means that I don't think I will be able to push for really fast lap times. Nevertheless, I am sure that we can still find a good pace plus firm our direction to head towards and in the future we will try new solutions with electronics and geometry settings. I was able to evaluate bike 1 and bike 2 which both had slightly different setups, but the overall feedback was encouraging for both. The track conditions are a bit better than when we visited here for the GP last year and although it's hotter and there is less grip than in Valencia, the improvements that I felt in Spain with the 2015 bike have certainly continued here. Overall, I am pleased with today's performance, plus the new bike for this year is a good step forward which I am very satisfied about. I want to thank Yamaha for giving Pol and I this opportunity and I look forward to tomorrow" 

Tech3 duo excited for dawn of 2015 season as Sepang tests begin

  • Written by Axel Raynal
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The first outing of 2015 will commence this week at the familiar Sepang International Circuit as the opening week of testing begins for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders. Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith will be back in the saddle as they shake down after the long winter break and prepare for what will be a highly competitive year aboard their Yamaha YZR-M1's

Pol Espargaro who impressed with his efforts to seize the rookie of the year accolade last season and finish as the leading satellite rider in the championship standings, will use the experience and knowledge which he gained in his debut year to step up and battle some of the factory MotoGP riders in 2015. On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage,Bradley Smith will be seeking to continue his strong end to 2014 and will look to lead the challenge for the top satellite bike this year. With both riders confident after a productive winter break where training for the upcoming season was the main objective, the first of the three testing events will commence on the 4th until the 6th of February. 

Pol Espargaro :

"I had a great time relaxing for a short while in the winter, but it wasn't long until I got stuck into my thorough training programme for the upcoming season and now it's time to get back into gear which I can't wait to get started on. The stress and competition are something we, as riders, miss during the winter months because life is much slower when we are not racing! I am feeling optimistic about the season as this year we will begin with the experience that we lacked 12 months ago and this will be key to our success on track. It is extremely important as a rider to know the bike, the team, have references and understand how the crew are improving the bike, so we will begin with an upper hand but there is still a lot of margin to progress. We need to decide which direction to head towards and then adjust accordingly with the 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1 which I have already ridden in Valencia. In addition, I must work on myself as I still feel that I am a bit too aggressive on the bike and the Yamaha requires a smooth riding style in order to get the most out of it. However, this year I am certain I will improve this aspect and close in on the leading riders. My minimum overall target is to finish in the same place at last season, but of course, I want to be higher up. The competition will be stronger, but we will have to fight and I am ready to begin the battle at the first test in Sepang"


Bradley Smith :

"I'm very excited to get 2015 underway with Monster Yamaha Tech3. This will be my third season with the team in the MotoGP class and I am grateful to Herve and Yamaha plus I look forward to continuing our relationship. We all know each other well and we've had two great learning years together so I am expecting bigger and better things in 2015, having already taken my debut podium last season. My ambition for the year will be to replicate another podium finish and we must really look at being the top satellite bike. This will entail a lot of hard work from now onwards but if we can continue the progress and the improvements we made in the latter part of last season, then we will surely get strong results. I am thrilled to be throwing my leg over the Yamaha again this week for the first Sepang test. We more or less know the 2015 package which we tested at Valencia in November, so this week will involve shaking off the cobwebs and adjusting back to riding at 350 km/h. I've had a really productive winter season where I've trained hard and ridden a lot, so I'm feeling optimistic and I am in good form to start working with the Yamaha YZR-M1 for a successful 2015 season"


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"Now it is time to finally get the ball rolling and head back to the track for what will be a very important season for our riders and also the team which is in it's 15th year in MotoGP. It makes me proud to know that Guy Coulon and I have worked together for so long and provided platforms for riders to show their talents on. We have a great relationship with both Yamaha and Monster Energy as well as our other sponsors and I want to thank them all. This year will be a tough one for the guys, but everyone knows they are fast and amongst the world's best plus up for the fight. It looks like they had a good break and seem really fired up to get back on their Yamaha's. This week will ease them both back into the swing of things but we still have objectives and work to be done in preparation for the season opener in Qatar. Pol did a tremendous job last year in his rookie season and we hope he will continue to put all of his effort in to be the leading satellite bike and perhaps battle with some of the factory riders. As for Bradley, we have worked with him for a long time and this will be his third year in the premier class so we hope he can join his teammate in fighting for strong finishes and adding to his podium tally. Both of the riders have the potential to do really well and the team is all in it together with them for the fight. It's been a long wait over the winter months, but it's time to get the show back on the road"

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