2016 - Test1 - Malaysia - Sepang

Tech3 duo power on despite contrasting weather on final day at Sepang

  • Written by Will Moody
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The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team pair concluded the opening test positively as they worked determinedly on their preparations for the 2016 season. Smith and Espargaro rode tirelessly for three days as they thoroughly examined the new Michelin tyres, the electronics package and their updated version of the Yamaha YZR-M1 for 2016. Both riders will now leave Malaysia positive and fully confident for the next test at Phillip Island.

Bradley Smith focused on completing as many laps as possible as he studied the effects of the Michelin tyres and the new electronics package over race distance. He completed 65 laps today with his total for the three day test being 179 laps, which was more than any other MotoGP rider. The 25 year old rider was also the only rider to sample the Michelin intermediate tyre after a heavy downpour of rain during the day. His time of 2’01.107 from yesterday’s session left him in 10th in the combined standings after finishing only 0.048 behind his teammate today, marking a solid effort at the opening test. Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro pushed nonstop as he worked through his testing programme and made leaps forward with the setup of his MotoGP bike whilst he collected valuable data for the approaching season. The Spanish star completed 44 laps today and finished with a best time of 2’01.870 that left him just under a second from 5th in the combined standings.


Bradley Smith

Position : 10th - Time : 2'01.107 - Laps : 179

Bradley Smith


"It’s been a good three days and we completed 99% of what I wanted to test which is a positive conclusion. I set a lap time that I was happy with yesterday, so today I decided to focus on race simulations and the handling of the bike when on a full fuel load. This was important as this season we are going to 22 litres of fuel that, of course, makes the Yamaha behave a bit differently compared to last year. We also thoroughly worked on the electronics in order to keep as much grip as possible when the tyre drops and by doing a race simulation today, I got to sample this first hand as well as learn the tyres behaviour in more depth. The results have given the team a clear indication of what they need to improve, and obviously, Yamaha can look at the data I’ve gathered so I am sure we can take advantage of this before we go to Phillip Island. I also tried the intermediate tyre today, which I had done in Brno as well, but this one was a different spec and it was closer to a full slick tyre. It obviously worked better in the wet conditions, but it’s no solution for real rain. It’s a bit of a gamble at the moment but I gave some information to Michelin and it will be interesting to see what happens in the future. Altogether it’s been a great three days and we leave Sepang with a clear direction of where to go next in order to progress. Already, I feel as comfortable as I did last year from a setting point of view and there’s still six days left to test.”

Profil 


Pol Espargaro

Position : 16th - Time : 2'01.870 - Laps : 118

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"Today our main focus was to increase our knowledge about the new electronics, especially in combination with the hard tyre as the grip level was quite low. In this situation, it’s really important to understand how to set up our package in order to make the bike as ridable as possible for me. However, when you try a lot of different options, it’s quite easy to get a bit confused because some are benficial and others seem to be a step backward. So we now have to analyse the data that we collected in the last three days and then design a clear plan for the upcoming test in Phillip Island. I’m already looking forward to trying the bike on another track and in different conditions, plus I’m confident that we will be much closer to the front.”

Profil 

Positive steps on day 2 leaves Tech3 duo confident for final test session

  • Written by Will Moody
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro maintained their tireless efforts on the second day of testing in Malaysia with encouraging progress being made in all areas. As a result, both riders remain optimistic for the final day tomorrow.

Bradley Smith continued his thorough testing programme as he prepares for his fourth season in the premier class. The 25 year old completed the day with a lap that was impressively 1.9 seconds quicker than yesterday’s, and just two tenths back from 5th place. Whilst Pol Espargaro also took a step forward as he cut sixth tenths off yesterday’s personal best after setting the time on only his 6th lap. The young Spaniard unfortunately fell twice during the day, yet he wasn’t injured and keenly awaits returning to the track tomorrow.


Bradley Smith

Position : 10th - Time : 2'01.107 - Laps : 59

Bradley Smith


"Today was constructive and I am pleased with what we accomplished, but we still need to do more tomorrow. We ran all day on hard tyres, which wasn’t our original plan yet, after using this compound at the end of the yesterday, we decided to carry on with it this morning and then finally, we were all forced to use the hard tyre after Loris Baz crashed. Anyway, we used the 2016 electronics all day and worked well on finding solutions to some of issues we have had yesterday and now I feel a lot more confident with them. For the race distance, we need to do a bit of work. Here in Sepang, it’s obviously hot and slippery so we have to focus on building a bike that is consistent for 20 laps. At the moment, my pace on one lap is quite fast but if the tyre starts to drop, I want to be able to feel a bit more comfortable than I do now. We also tried a couple of different chassis configurations today and gained some interesting information, but although we didn’t find anything better than what we have, we have a clear program for the future. Tomorrow we will see if we can do a race simulation. I would like to do a lengthy run in order to get some fitness as well as a good idea about the performance of the tyres and the electronics over a distance. So hopefully we can run for as long as possible and have another positive day to close the test.”

Profil 


Pol Espargaro

Position : 15th - Time : 2'01.992 - Laps : 32

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"The day had some positives as we continued our work with the electronics and definitely found some improvements, but having said that, we have to understand what caused me to fall twice at turn five. On the data we can’t see any difference compared to the other laps. I may have been slightly faster but altogether, and compared to the other Yamaha riders, I am not particularly fast there, so it’s difficult to understand what’s going wrong. We may have to adjust the setting for turn 5 or maybe even change the front tyre pressure. Anyway, we got a bit lost because if you crash twice, you always take two steps back before making a step forward again and it disturbed the programme we were trying to run. All in all, we can’t say it’s been the best of days, but there are still some solid positives to take and we have to find our way back tomorrow. Despite this, I am really confident that we can be strong again on the final day.”

Profil 

 

Tech3 pair back on track as 2016 preparation kicks off

  • Written by Will Moody
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith were back on board their Yamaha YZR-M1’s today at the first day of action in Malaysia as they rode their first laps of the year after the winter break which lasted for two months. Both riders eagerly began working on setting up this year’s Yamaha MotoGP bike together with the new electronics package and the Michelin tyres, with the opening findings being positive.

Pol Espargaro leapt straight into gear as soon as the opening shakedown began and he embarked on his testing programme, before setting a personal best of 2’02.646 on his 27th lap. Meanwhile, Bradley Smith finished the day three places behind his teammate, after tirelessly completing 55 laps as he collected vital information for the upcoming season. The hard work will continue tomorrow with both riders fully confident of making further steps forward and lowering their lap times.


Pol Espargaro

 Position : 12th - Time : 2'02.646 - Laps : 42

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"It has been a constructive start to the year. When looking at the time sheet it’s easy to see that we did not achieve anything special, but I can’t hide that my feelings are positive. We were able to try the new electronics for the first time and I am glad to say that it’s much better than we expected after what we heard from other people. Of course, we are quite far behind the other manufacturers and also Yamaha Factory, but I’m convinced that there is a huge margin of improvement to make which can can do and the most important thing is that I like how I now have to ride the bike. It goes without saying that it will take us some time to make up the ground and also because we have less engineers than a factory team, but I’m confident that the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team will do a good job. Also the new Michelin front tyres were a positive aspect of the day and you can really feel that they worked a lot on them. We had several front compounds today which all performed well and were absolutely safe. Beside the encouraging technical news, I’m also very pleased that my physical condition seems to be very strong, because even though we rode quite a lot of laps, I do not feel particularly tired. Of course, there are some muscles which we haven’t used since Valencia and for sure the hardest moments are yet to come, with getting up tomorrow morning being crucial, but already, I can’t wait to get back on my Yamaha. Today flew by and we still have a lot of things to test, so we’ll be ready as soon as the light turns green in the morning.”

Profil 


Bradley Smith

Position : 15th - Time : 2'03.026 - Laps : 55


Bradley Smith

"I am pleased to be back after what has been such a long break. I rode a lot of laps today and we did some solid work. Unfortunately I fell at the last corner, however in a strange way, I’m pleased to get my first crash of the year over and done with! It was my fault because I was trying to understand the front tyre, as it is a new style and we were intending to find where the limit is. I was experimenting with this in the hard braking corners and in the last turn I went onto the dirty side of the track and then unfortunately fell. Besides that, we had some small issues today which forced us to make a few changes with the electronics as well as the engine. As a result, we lost a bit of time but I was still able to make a comparison between last seasons’ electronics and this year’s so now we have a clear indication of what we need to do next. Michelin have done a convincing job so far and they’ve brought two compounds of front and rear tyre that are working well here, so they’ve made a significant step from last year at the Valencia test. If you look at the Yamaha riders, it’s clear to see that Jorge and Vale are running well, but I’m sure that once we have had a bit more time with the 2016 electronics, we’ll be able to improve and climb up the rankings. Anyway, I rode 55 decent laps today and now we have a solid plan and a good base to carry on with in the next two days.”

Profil 

Tech3 duo fired up for 2016 as first test arrives

  • Written by Will Moody
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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team duo Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will commence the first test of the year at the Sepang International Circuit on Monday as they look to hit the ground running for the forthcoming season.

Both riders will use the three day shakedown test to get back up to speed and become further accustomed to the new Michelin tyres, the 2016 electronic package and this season’s Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes.

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