The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro continued his bright form in 2016 by completing today’s post Spanish GP test in 9th place. The 25-year-old began optimistically as he experimented with setup options for his Yamaha YZR-M1 as well as new Michelin tyres. After tirelessly pushing throughout the day, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion finished with a best time of 1’39.942 that left him just three-tenths of a second from fourth. The result leaves him fully charged and ready to impress once again as he guns for the top independent rider position at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith made steps forward as he focused on re-evaluating setup options for his Yamaha YZR-M1 in Andalucía today as well as also sampling the new Michelin tyres. The young Briton got straight to work with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and relentlessly completed 71 laps. His fastest time was less than four tenths from his teammate, which he set on his penultimate lap of the day. His test performance leaves the 25-year-old confident of a strong showing for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s home Grand Prix at Le Mans in a fortnight’s time.


Pol Espargaro

Position: 9th - Time: 1'39.942 - Laps: 62

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"I’m a bit surprised with today’s outcome because we tried a lot of adjustments on the bike and all of them turned out to be positive. However, the solutions that we found on the bike really helped me, especially at a track with low grip like this. In addition, I also sampled a couple of new front tyres from Michelin, which I am pleased with. Regarding the tyres of this weekend's allocation, we had to use mainly the harder compound, as there wasn’t too many soft ones left, which I used in yesterday’s race. However, we did use one soft tyre for more than 30 laps without any issues and at the moment it’s still my favourite compound. The good news is that with the setting that we made on the bike and the new tyres, we have made progress with the locking issues that we were having with the front. So the tyres which Michelin brought seem to be performing well, and we now have some solid points to take home. We’ll test the new compounds again after the Catalan Grand Prix and let’s see what happens there."


Bradley Smith

Position: 11th - Time: 1'40.335 - Laps: 71

Bradley Smith - 2016


"Even though the results from today’s test are not incredible, we’ve made some good progress but I don’t think this will dramatically turn around my season. We’ve been struggling a little so far this year, and I’ve never really found something that I’m completely comfortable with. A lot of what we did today was going over the things that we adjusted in the first track appearances in 2016 so that we could reconfirm our knowledge. The adjustments that we have made aren’t negative and we can see that we have gone in the right direction. This morning we retested everything and made sure that we have the best package in our garage. Then, this afternoon we tried a couple of front tyres for Michelin. I just evaluated these as best as I could but we used the normal tyres for our setup work as these new tyres are for the future. After that, we continued to focus on the bike, by establishing a base setting plus modifying the rear shock and altering my riding position too. It’s been a busy day and there were no miracles, but then again, we weren’t really expecting any. The team and I just wanted to keep our heads down, do our best and gain about 0.3 seconds a lap. In the end, we actually beat our objective as we were about 0.5 faster. So I am pleased with the outcome and the team did a good job so let’s see what we can do at their home GP."

Profil 

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro pulled off another solid performance today to clinch 8th in Andalucía. The 25 year old kicked off the fight from the third row on the grid and leapt forward when the lights went out before completing the opening lap one place higher. He quickly set into his formidable race pace and by the mid point of the GP, he remained in 7th. The Spaniard kept pushing but despite his best efforts, he was overtaken by the Factory Ducati of Andrea Iannone in the final third of the race. Nevertheless, he comfortably finished ahead of the pursuing riders in 8th in what was his fourth top ten result this season. Now, Espargaro confidently looks on to the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s home Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith gave his all today after a tricky qualifying campaign and he met the chequered flag in the race in 12th position. The young Briton launched from the middle of the fifth row of the grid and whilst muscling his way around the track, he was pushed back to 15th by the close of the first lap. However, he dug deep as he intended to rise through the field and by lap 10 he snatched 12th. His progress continued and he opened a gap to the pack behind before powering to the end in this position. The 25 year old will use the test day tomorrow at the Jerez circuit as an opportunity to improve so that he can repeat his 2015 form at Le Mans, the next round of the MotoGP World Championship.


Pol Espargaro

Position: 8th - Championship: 5th - Points: 36

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"I am pleased to walk away from Jerez with another strong set of points but it certainly was a challenging race. The weather changed so much from the practice sessions and it was very hot out there today, so that it was tough to choose the tyres and then ride a decent race yet we did what we could. At the beginning I was just adjusting to the conditions, but I upped the pace in the middle and then went quick at the end. I feel, along with some of the other satellite riders for sure, that the gap to the factory guys is still considerable. We saw them going and just had to think about the end of the race otherwise we would wear the tyre and not finish. It’s a pity that you cannot extract all of the potential from your bike because the tyre is limited. Having said that we are in a development stage, so for sure this will improve in the future. Anyway we still managed to get 8th but we need a bit more so that we can fight a bit higher in the opening laps which we will aim to discover tomorrow. In the final third of the GP, Iannone had a bit more traction than me when exiting the corners. My rear tyre was worn so I didn’t want to push too hard and risk it all. Le Mans is next, which is the Monster Energy sponsored race and the home GP for my team. I like the track but not the weather as it changes a lot! We are all motivated and in a good position in the championship so I know we can have a positive time there."

Profil


Bradley Smith

Position: 12th - Championship: 12th - Laps: 20

Bradley Smith - 2016


"Without a doubt it was a tough weekend for me but at least I got something out of it in terms of points, and I am determined to have a more successful time at the next round in France. In the race I had an ok start off the line but the Aprilias and Ducatis were really strong during the opening laps. Unfortunately I also lost some positions in the first lap due to contact with another rider so I ended up behind Hernandez and Bautista. I felt like it cost me some time following them, but with the lack of grip I experienced on the rear tyre, I could not push any harder at the beginning and already after ten laps I knew that I was in trouble. Therefore, I just tried to be as smooth as possible and reach the finish flag. The good thing is that we managed to improve my feeling with the front over the weekend and I felt more comfortable when compared to the previous races, so tomorrow in the test we will focus on trying to find a solution to the rear. However, saying that is very easy and this may not be the case in reality. Yet, we will work hard and take full advantage of tomorrow so that we can be strong in Le Mans like last year."

Profil 


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :


“To be honest I have mixed feelings about this race. I, like most of the people, was expecting an incredible fight but at the end of the day it wasn’t such an exciting Grand Prix. Yamaha demonstrated by claiming first and second, that in the hot conditions they have an incredible package. Regarding Tech3, Pol had a strong weekend from the first session on friday morning until the end of the race and he finished in almost all of the practices as the top independent rider, including qualifying. During the race itself, he had a good start and pushed hard but we could see that it was going to be tricky for him to be better than the top independent bike. He tried to stay in front of Iannone but the rhythm was too different and I think he was very wise to take the points in 8th which sees him in 5th in the championship standings. I want to thank him because this year he is a lot more mature, determined and involved in how he is working with the team so we are glad to have him onboard. Heading to our home Grand Prix and being 4th in the team championship is something that we feel proud about. Regarding Bradley, it was another tough weekend for him, but just like in Austin and Argentina, he managed to better everything on race day. His start was not ideal but the pace, especially in the second part of the race, was constantly improving and he was getting closer to Pol and maybe with one more lap it would have been possible to pass Cal. Altogether it was a challenging weekend, and I think this year he is just not comfortable on the bike yet. However, Brad and Tech3 along with Yamaha plus Michelin all need to work together and I’m sure we will find some solutions so that he can show his true potential which we saw in 2015. Lets hope Le Mans will be the turning point of the season so that he can be fighting with Pol for the top independent position.”

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro will commence the first European round of the season from the middle of the third row after pulling off a strong qualifying performance today in Andalucía. The young Spaniard kicked off the day by storming to third position in FP3 after setting a lap that was only 0.191 from the leading time which therefore allowed him to graduate instantly through to QP2. Here, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion began at instant speed and set a personal best on lap seven which saw him clinch 8th after finishing only 0.140 back from fourth. Espargaro will now seek to meet the chequered flag in a top tier position to consolidate his championship placement of fourth.

On the opposite side of the garage, Bradley Smith dug deep in qualifying today and will begin the 4th round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship from the middle of the fifth row. The 25 year old battled throughout the morning practice before eventually finishing in 14th, meaning that he would have to participate in qualifying 1. When the session started, the British star determinedly set off and after a thorough effort, he posted his personal best on his penultimate run. Tomorrow, the Tech3 rider will aim to undertake a rocket start and then fight through the field to a positive result.


Pol Espargaro

Position: 8th - Time: 1'39.720 - Laps: 8

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"Overall, I must say it is mission accomplished today, because the top independent position is the one that we have to achieve and having done this, we can be optimistic for the race. The top factory guys are clearly quicker but for us tomorrow, our goal has to be the leading satellite bike placement again. We made progress in this morning’s practice session but I might have to thank Marc, because I discovered some different racing lines by following him, which allowed me to increase my corner speed in several turns. In qualifying itself, I could have gone slightly quicker but I made a mistake on my fast lap and dropped a bit of time. Nevertheless, I am satisfied with what we achieved and my overall feeling with the Michelin tyres is improving at every event and I am becoming more confident. This, along with the setting of the bike, makes me feel comfortable and eager for this race, even if the setup itself is quite different from the other Yamaha’s. Anyway, I am looking forward to the GP and if we can fight with the Suzuki and Ducati’s, I will be very pleased."

Profil 


Bradley Smith

Position: 14th - Time: 1'40.242 - Laps: 8

Bradley Smith - 2016


"Today we didn’t improve as much as I needed to. I thought low 1’40 lap times would have been strong enough to get into QP2, but everybody upped their game and in the end we needed a 1’39 to progress directly through to QP2. To be honest, today I was on the limit and unfortunately we didn’t find the next step with the bike. A 1’40.2 lap seems to be where I am at the moment as I did three consistent laps, once this morning and twice this afternoon, so I thought that I had extracted the best that I could from the Yamaha. Now, we have a lot of data to analyse and try to assess in preparation for tomorrow, and starting from 14th on the grid isn’t going to make the GP any easier, especially at this track. However, I’ve been practicing my starts all the weekend and they are getting better so tomorrow I need to make a special one and then pass as many riders as possible in the first few corners. From now until tomorrow we will try to improve the bike so the team will have a busy afternoon searching for the final tenths because my race pace has to be stronger too. We know that we are in a tricky situation but we’re still ready to give it everything we’ve got in the Grand Prix tomorrow and we’ll do our best until then.”

Profil 

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