Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro kicked off the 2016 MotoGP season with a positive finish of 7th after a challenging race. The young Spaniard shot off the starting grid from 9th position and after a frantic first lap, he crossed the line two places back. From here, the resolute 25 year old stuck into his formidable race pace as he looked to climb through the competitive field. By lap six he had closed down and passed his teammate whilst he continued riding consistent times before overtaking Hector Barbera for 7th at the halfway point. Espargaro pushed onwards, yet in the final seven laps he suffered with visor issues and had difficulty seeing, but he persevered and diced with his teammate right up to the chequered flag. Eventually, he crossed the line in front, clinching the top independent position.

On the other side of the pit box, Bradley Smith delivered a notable performance today after completing the race just a blink of an eye behind his teammate by only 0.023 of a second. The young British rider began the sprint from 11th, but moved up one place by the end of the first lap. Then, he quickly locked into his race pace and homed in on the positions in front. By the mid point, Smith was in 9th and remained with Espargaro as the race distance progressed. On the final lap, the pair exchanged passes, with the British star finishing right behind his teammate by a hair's breadth. His effort today strongly outlines his desire to win the leading satellite honours which he will fight for again at the next Grand Prix in Argentina.


Pol Espargaro

Position : 7th - Championship : 7th - Points : 9

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"I am satisfied with the result today mainly because, looking back on how we finished the season in 2015, I was not entirely comfortable with riding last year’s M1. This year we have started differently and my feelings are better on this bike, plus I am convinced that I can do much more than before. Today the race was not easy, because I made some mistakes, especially at the start which didn’t go to plan. I was stuck behind some riders at the beginning and then I lost Maverick and Dani, which is a pity because at the end they had a very similar rhythm to me. It was a long GP but I am happy with the outcome especially after the battle at the end with my teammate. I was in front of Brad for nearly the whole race, with a gap of about one second. I controlled this amount of time and I was feeling comfortable but seven laps before the end, I encountered an issue where the sweat from my forehead dripped onto my visor and with the lights in Qatar, it dazzled me. Bradley caught 0.6 of a second in one lap and then right at the end he overtook. I fought back and retook him again then, but luckily I was first at the end of the race. For sure, Argentina will be a bigger challenge compared to here because we have had a lot of testing time in Qatar. In addition, I struggled at Rio Hondo last year so it will be tricky anyway, especially if the conditions are hot, yet we will give nothing but 100% just like we have done here."

Profil


Bradley Smith

Position : 8th - Championship : 8th - Points : 8

Bradley Smith - 2016


"I am pleased with the race result today, but the start was a complete disaster, so from there onwards, I knew that things could only get better! I tried to make a few passes in the opening laps and found myself in the position with the other satellite riders. Then I tried to get into my rhythm and aimed to not make any mistakes. In addition, I wanted to understand as much as I could with the new setup for the race and how the bike behaved in the 22 laps. As time ticked down, I got into a good fight with my teammate, plus he was really strong on the brakes into the first corner. Before that, I passed Barbera when he made a mistake and after having finally an open track in front of me, I got some confidence, put my head down and went for it. It was fun chasing Pol with three laps to go and it’s been a while since we’ve had a really tough battle like that. On the last lap, I made the pass into the final corner, but the fact that he is four kilos lighter than me made the difference on the way to the line! It’s been a very tough weekend and we started on a difficult note on Thursday and Friday, yet the team did a fantastic job and kept on working hard. We stayed focused and in the end we came away with 8th position, which is already one place better than last year. In addition, we are only one point away from our target which is to be the top satellite bike and so we will try to rectify that in Argentina.”

Profil 


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :


"I am very happy that we have started the championship in the way that we did today. To be honest, we were all wondering what was going to happen and how the race would be with the new electronics and tyre manufacturer, even though we did some simulations. It was a bit of a grey area for everyone but I think our two guys did a really strong job. The start was not incredible but it was solid enough for Pol and Brad to be in decent positions. Then they pushed and passed quite a few guys, so in the end I think we ended up where we should be. There was quite a tough battle between our boys and at one stage I was a bit worried! However, they showed respect to each other and just 0.023 between the two shows that we have a very competitive team. This is a good way to start, and for Pol to claim the first independent rider means a lot to us, but to be first and second in the satellite standings is great. I am very happy for Pol because he had a tough time last year but worked hard in the winter, so it’s a positive beginning for him. Next up is Argentina but clearly, we are happy to have completed our first 2016 race. Honestly, I didn’t expect us to be this competitive, yet, this is a great sign and I’m sure that we will be closer and closer in the next few rounds."

 

 

Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Pol Espargaro will commence his 2016 campaign from the third row of the grid after a determined performance today in Qatar. A thorough effort in FP3 yesterday allowed the young Spaniard to progress to QP2 where he launched into action as soon as the session began. Espargaro built up his speed before setting a personal best on his last lap that was only just over six tenths from the front row. With his confidence high in his race rhythm, the 25 year old’s sights are now firmly set on winning the battle for the leading satellite position tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith pushed hard and produced a tireless qualifying assault today that will see him commence the Qatar Grand Prix from 11thon the grid. The 25 year old had to battle through Q1 after just missing the direct qualification to QP2 by only 0.029 yesterday, but he wasted no time and graduated straight through to the second session after setting a 1’55.490. Here, he upped his pace before firing a personal best lap which was just a tenth from his teammate. The British star now confidently awaits the 22 lap sprint tomorrow where he aims to fight for a top eight result.


Pol Espargaro

Position : 9th - Time : 1'55.302 - Laps : 7

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"In all honesty, I think that we have put ourselves in a promising place for tomorrow. My race pace is strong and our position in FP4 showed that. We have a clear idea about which choice of compound to use and we know that some other riders are struggling with the tyre life. However, we still need to stay focused and sort out a few minor issues in tomorrow's warm up, but I feel prepared and ready. Regarding my qualifying position right now, I'm actually a bit irritated because I'm convinced I could have done a better lap time. Of course, that's easy to say now, but when I left the garage for my last run I was together with some other riders and as we aren't particularly strong on one single lap at the moment, the last thing I wanted was to have the other riders behind me. Therefore I waited, but probably a bit too long, so I didn't do a faster time. Nevertheless, I'm realistic and I wouldn't have been on second row anyway, but I could have been at least a bit higher on my line, therefore there is a slight bitter sweet taste in my mouth. Yet, altogether we have done a good job. I did my lap on my own and I believe that there are a few riders with a worse rhythm in front. Tomorrow will, for sure, be entertaining and the initial laps with the full fuel load might be interesting but I'm 100% motivated to clinch a positive result."

Profil 


Bradley Smith

Position : 11th - Time : 1'55.414 - Laps : 7

Bradley Smith - 2016


"I am pleased with my qualifying position today even though it was a different experience on the Michelin tyres compared to Bridgestone. I knew that we wouldn’t be challenging for any of the top positions, so I made the decision to stay out on the bike in QP2 in order to get a few more laps under my belt as well as figuring out several things for the race. All in all, I am satisfied that we are in and around the other satellite riders which ranges from 8th to 12th, so with a good start, we can be right in the mix. With regards to the setup, we are still trying to adjust some details, but I did a full race distance on a set of tyres and was still running competitive lap times. This is positive, however, we need to work something out for sector three and four, but particularly the third. The Yamaha’s strength is corner speed which is something we need to improve on as I don’t quite have the confidence to lay it into the corner, release the brake and go through. Therefore, this is what I need in order to make the difference, so we will study the data and go from there. A top eight position is achievable but we need to work hard between now and then. Having said that, I am excited for the first race of the season tomorrow and will give it everything I’ve got.”

Profil 

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith faced the second day of action at the 2016 season opener today and rode at full speed as they both pushed all the way to the end of FP3.

Pol Espargaro kicked off the day by conducting further adjustments to his Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike and concluded free practice two in 10th overall. Then, later today, the young Spaniard confidently leapt into action when FP3 began as he was determined to pass directly through to QP2. After a relentless effort, Espargaro’s fastest lap left him just over six tenths from third position and the 25 year old will now seek to follow up his positive form by clinching a solid qualifying position tomorrow.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Bradley Smith gave his all throughout the day as he continued the tireless work in preparation for the 22 lap sprint on Sunday. The young Briton commenced the third free practice fully focused and when the chequered flag fell, his fastest time was only 0.029 back from his teammate. Nevertheless, Smith confidently awaits qualifying one tomorrow with the aim to join his teammate in the all important final qualifying session.


Pol Espargaro

Position : 10th - Time : 1'55.476 - Laps : 19

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"It goes without saying that I'm pleased with the final result as I'm straight through to QP2, which is especially important when considering how things went today. During the first session, it took us a bit of time to get up to speed, mainly due to the fact that we were using the compound that I liked less than the other because we wanted to keep as many of those tyres as possible for FP3 and the upcoming days. However, in the end, I decided to not stop during the final stages of FP3 because for some reason, I'm faster on used Michelin tyres than new ones. This is a completely new situation for me as it was the opposite with Bridgestone where I was able to post one fast lap, but then I usually struggled at the end of the races. Therefore, today, I continued to ride until I ran the lap time I wanted, but at that point there were just four minutes until to the chequered flag fell and I had to come back to the garage. I couldn't continue any longer because there was the risk that I would run out of fueI as didn't stop before, which I was supposed to do. Yet, altogether we can be satisfied because we were able to post our time with an old tyre and after a lot of laps, but still we need to improve in FP4 tomorrow as everybody is really close together so we need to make some steps forward."

Profil


Bradley Smith


Position : 12th - Time : 1'55.505 - Laps : 20

Bradley Smith - 2016"Of course, I would have preferred to finish today inside the top ten, but the team did a good job and we are confident for tomorrow. To be honest, we struggled a bit in FP2, but then we made some changes and slowly in the third practice I started to feel more comfortable. In the first part of that session, I did a long run with the hard tyre and then switched over to the soft compound, and immediately I was quick. However, I unfortunately made a small mistake during braking into turn six which caused me to fall and it meant that I had to use my second bike with only nine minutes remaining. I actually felt a bit better on it, but we still need to improve and make some modifications in order to get the best out of the Yamaha in the fast corners, especially in sectors 3 and 4. This will be our aim for FP4 and we will try to gain a bit in those areas. I will have to go through QP1 so I need to focus on riding a strong lap there to be able to progress to qualifying 2 tomorrow.”

Profil 

Sponsors

michelin
Capit
akrapovic
WP
pankl bc
blinker
bihr
giacomelli n
alpinestars
grandstand
binocle n
Copyright © 2019 Tech3 
Designed by xleu.info