Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith battled his way to 8th position in the demanding 23 lap sprint around the MotorLand Aragon circuit today aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. When the lights went out, the young Briton undertook a decent start from 10th to close the first lap one position higher from where he began. He then built up his speed before firmly setting into his race rhythm as he confidently attempted to force his way into the top six. By the end of the 7th lap, Smith was running comfortably in 6th as he homed in on Andrea Dovizioso ahead. However, he unfortunately ran wide eleven laps from the end and was shuffled back two places. Nevertheless, the 24 year old remained focused and set his sights on closing back in on the fierce fight for 5th, with Cal Crutchlow in front of him. Smith pushed onwards as he continued to plug the gap and on the last lap he was still right behind Crutchlow, but despite his best efforts, he fired across the finish line in 8th. The result sees the young British rider still hold his record of completing every round this season in no lower than 8th. Furthermore, he remains as one of only three MotoGP riders who have concluded every race and he will now confidently head to Japan for the 15th event of the 2015 World Championship.
 
Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro finished the MotoGP race one position behind his teammate after producing a resolute effort in front of 67,000 Spanish fans. The young Spaniard got off to a solid start today by completing the morning’s warm up practice in 3rd position, leaving him fully optimistic of a good run in the afternoon’s race. When the fight began, Espargaro lunged forward from the head of the second row and diced with the factory MotoGP riders as he closed the first lap in 6th. He was running in 5th one lap later as he looked to mount a challenge to battle the front runners, but unfortunately he then slipped back to 9th on the 4th lap. Yet, Espargaro remained fully determined as he undertook a recovery charge to close back in on the group in front. At just over half race distance the 2013 Moto2 World Champion was closing in as he joined the pack of five, including his teammate fighting for 5th. He did his best to move in on Smith, despite suffering with an issue with his gear lever, yet time ran out before the chequered flag was waved. Next up for the 24 year old is the Motul Grand Prix of Japan where he intends to achieve a strong finish aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1
   
Bradley Smith
Position : 8th Championship :5th Points : 143

Bradley Smith - 2015

“I have to be happy with the result today after what was certainly a tough race at Aragon. All of the different manufactures were in the group that I was fighting in and each one was stronger in different areas of the track. As a result, the pack was really competitive and all of us were pushing as much as we could. Unfortunately, I made the mistake when I was right behind Dovizioso and  almost ran into him. To avoid this, I had to go wide and it took me ten laps to make up that second that I lost which just proves how easily matched we all were. Yet, I am pleased with the result, especially considering that things didn’t go exactly as we wanted them to this weekend. Moreover, we were still in the hunt for 5th today which I was not convinced about before the start of the race. Therefore, to come away with this result and without loosing too many points in the championship is overall quite positive. In addition, it’s easy to make a mistake at a track like this, so I am happy to have kept it on two wheels! Next up is Motegi which I am looking forward to. The track layout is gruelling but I feel that I can run well there and I hope to give the Japanese fans a good show.”

Profil 

   
Pol Espargaro

Position : 9th

Championship : 10th Points : 88

Pol Espargaro - 2015"It goes without saying that today's race was very demanding for me. The beginning itself was actually really positive but just when I pulled away from the riders behind me, I had to run wide as my gear didn't engage and I was in neutral. Because of this, I lost several positions as well as some vital seconds which I tried to make up afterwards but it really wasn't easy. In the following laps, I checked which engine maps gave me the best chance of catching the group in front. However, whilst I was pushing my hardest to make up the time, I lost the rubber on my gear shifter which caused the lever to be very slippery so shifting up and down was truly difficult for the rest of the race. Taking all of this into consideration, we have to be quite pleased with the fact that we finished less than two seconds from fifth, even though it is a pity to end up in 9th. We now have to look forward to the three overseas races, with the first round being in Japan, a place which I'm happy to return to after the incredible experience this summer at the Suzuka 8 Hours race.

Profil 

   
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"It was another top ten finish for our two guys, but in all honesty, I can’t hide that we were expecting a bit more in terms of the final results today. Both of our boys had good starts and Pol was right up there with the leaders and looking good. However, he made a mistake and lost contact with the group which was a shame but he regrouped and fought right until the end in the second pack which was clearly where the action was. As for Brad, he did a good job also and to collect another set of points strengthens his championship fight. In the race, we knew he had a similar pace to Pol, even though the qualifying position was not ideal. So to have both guys finish inside the top ten is solid, yet we are a strong team and very competitive, so we need to find something more for the next races. We could have possibly been a position or two higher, but at the moment the four guys in front ride with a different rhythm and are very quick. The 25 second gap from the leader back to our guys is too big and this is what we have to work on. Tomorrow there is an important test and it will be interesting to see what we can do and improve. Today, we did our best and next is Japan where we hope to obtain two results on Sunday that are a bit higher up the field."

 

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro stormed to 4th position in qualifying today at the MotorLand Aragon circuit and will begin the battle at the 14th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship as the leading satellite bike on the grid. The young Spaniard started the vital qualifying day by continuing his setup work and then speeding to a best time of 1’48.449 in FP3. This left him in 7th place in the session but 8th overall and able to pass straight through the Q2. Once the intensely competitive 15 minute shootout commenced, the 24 year old jumped onto his Yamaha YZR-M1, determined to seize a top placement. After building up his pace, Espargaro powered to a best lap of 1’47.334 on his sixth out of seven, which resulted in him securing 4th with the gap to third place being just over a tenth of a second. Therefore, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion will start from the head of the second row as he equalled his best qualifying position of the year. He intends to achieve his target of battling as closely as possible with the factory MotoGP bikes and aims to finish inside the top six.

On the other hand, Bradley Smith dug deep and fought relentlessly throughout the intense Q2 session and he will line up at the front of the fourth row for the MotoGP race tomorrow. The young Briton kicked off the day by finishing the third free practice in 11th place due to a crash interrupting his session. Yet, his strong lap time of 1’48.318 in FP2 yesterday positioned him in 7th in the overall standings and able to glide straight through to Qualifying 2. As the 15 minute battle got underway Smith leapt into action and looked to land a top starting position to begin the 23 lap fight from. The 24 year old bolted to a best time of 1’47.830 which left him just over three tenths from rear of the second row. This result was a full second quicker than his qualifying time from last year and Smith will seek to undertake a rocket start tomorrow as he hopes to clinch the leading satellite honours at the meandering MotorLand Aragon circuit.

   
Pol Espargaro

Position : 4th

Time : 1'47.334 Laps : 7

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "Fourth position is definitely a positive end to today's qualifying and it is a promising starting point for the upcoming race. Yet, it hasn't been an easy day as we had to face some difficulties with a lack of grip during FP4 when I ran on a used rear tyre. Afterwards, during the qualifying with the two new rubbers, the conditions changed completely and I felt much more confident. I was searching for the limit a bit during my first run and then I gave it everything I had on the second tyre and the final result is really pleasing. This is even more important as the first corner here is a bit dangerous and some other turns in the opening sector are tricky regarding the braking at the start of the race, so it's truly positive to be able to kick off proceedings from the front of the field.”

Profil  

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 10th Time : 1'47.830 Laps : 8

Bradley Smith - 2015

“Although my grid position is a little further back from where I have been qualifying recently, the weekend has been going well and I am quite positive about getting into the top six tomorrow in the race. I felt comfortable as soon as we got running here, even though I had a little fall this morning. To be honest, we still don’t know exactly what happened, but one possible reason is that the tyres weren’t up to temperature yet. Anyway, in Q2 I expected to do a 47.8 or a 47.9 lap time and I was actually able to do this time for three laps consistently which bodes well for the race. However, today we were missing that last 0.4 of a second, which would have resulted in me scoring a strong qualifying position. We need to analyse a few more details tomorrow in the warm up and then finalise our plan for the race. We will then go from there and hopefully I will be able to get in the mix after a good start.”

Profil  

   

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith carried his notable form over from the Misano GP and concluded the opening day of action at the MotorLand Aragon circuit by superbly clinching 3rd. The day’s action began under sunny conditions and Smith wasted no time in getting up to speed as he powered to a best time of 1’49.790 which left him in 7th position at the end of FP1. During this practice, the British rider started his work by testing various settings for his Yamaha YZR-M1 in preparation for the 23 lap race on Sunday at the 5.1 kilometre track and once FP2 commenced, Smith continued his efforts. His determination shone through and he pulled the pin to speed to a fastest lap of 1’48.318 which saw him finish in third and inside the all Yamaha top three. In addition, the 24 year old also illustrated his relentless work ethic by completing 20 laps, which was more than any other MotoGP rider in the practice. He will now seek to follow up his strong start to the 14th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship where he aims to qualify on the front two rows for the fifth consecutive time in tomorrow’s all important shootout.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro kicked off the MotoGP weekend in his home country by shaking down the opening practices in a positive manner and seeing out the day with a time of 1’48.445 that left him in 6th overall. The Spaniard, who intended to bounce back from an unfortunate end to the Misano Grand Prix, leapt onto his Yamaha YZR-M1 and bolted into action when the morning session began. He rode a best time of 1’49.868 which left him in 8th as he embarked on altering the setup of his MotoGP bike. When the afternoon practice started, Espargaro got straight back to work at the meandering MotorLand Aragon circuit and after pushing throughout the session, he finished in 6th. This was after completing 18 laps and in addition, he was only just over a tenth from his teammate. This encouraging start to the event leaves the 24 year old confident of a strong qualifying performance tomorrow as he aims to replicate his 2014 grid position at the front of the second row.

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 3rd Time : 1'48.318 Laps : 38

Bradley Smith - 2015

“It has been a positive start to the Aragon MotoGP weekend and 3rd is definitely a good position to close day one in. As soon as we kicked off proceedings this morning, I felt comfortable on the bike and I was able to quickly find a solid rhythm. Then in the afternoon, we worked more with the hard compound in order to evaluate the potential for the race. As a conclusion, the front is positive yet the rear is not quite as strong but it is still working well at this track. Moreover, we made some steps forward with the electronics regarding both the engine braking and the traction control which I am pleased about. So tomorrow, we will now work a bit more on the race pace and the setting in order to have a good performance for the whole GP on Sunday. Also, I would be pleased if we could improve the front stability in some corners, especially when braking on the maximum lean angle. Yet, to close the day in 3rd is a good start, so we will carry on our work and hopefully qualify on the front two rows.”

Profil 

   
Pol Espargaro

Position : 6th

Time : 1'49.445 Laps : 37

Pol Espargaro - 2015"I really wouldn't say that today has been the best day of the year for me, however considering the huge margin of improvement that we still have to make, a top six finish is a truly satisfying end to the opening day of action at Aragon. This morning when I got on the bike, my feeling was not the best straight away and then again in the second practice session, I struggled quite a lot with changing direction, especially in the fast corners. Yet, I remain convinced that we can rectify this situation for tomorrow morning after looking deeply into today's data as our goal is to still qualify on the front two rows of the grid.”

Profil 

   

 

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