Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Bradley Smith leaves Barcelona feeling optimistic for the future rounds after undertaking a thorough post-Catalan Grand Prix test today. The British rider concentrated mainly on the new Michelin tyres, as he evaluated all three of the new rear compounds available plus he tested different rear suspension options. He tirelessly lapped the circuit 83 times, which was more than any other MotoGP rider, but also crashed at turn five on his last lap. The 25-year-old set his best time mid way through the day and on his 44th lap, which left him less than a second from fifth. Having reached a positive conclusion, the 2015 fastest satellite rider now keenly awaits the forthcoming Motul Dutch Grand Prix where he intends to clinch the top independent honours.

On the other side of the pit box, Pol Espargaro rode relentlessly as he focused on the new tyres and additionally electronics and suspension settings with encouraging results being achieved. The young Spaniard got straight to work this morning in perfect conditions under the Catalan sun and eventually concluded the day by completing 48 laps, with his quickest time being set on just his third. The 24-year-old focused on setup solutions but a small crash, which he walked away from uninjured, did not slow his work rate. After a constructive day, the leading independent rider in the championship standings now confidently looks on to the next round at Assen in a fortnight’s time.


Bradley Smith

Position: 12th - Time: 1'45.670 - Laps: 83


Bradley Smith - 2016"In general, today was positive and we can leave Barcelona feeling content with what we achieved at the test. After the technical issue in yesterday’s race, I am really pleased to complete 83 laps without any issues at all. I did a lot of tyre testing this morning for Michelin and they brought some interesting options so I'm excited to see how the tyres will evolve in the future. With regards to our setting, the main area of focus was the rear of the bike which seems to be where I’m most sensitive at the moment. We had quite a few different rear shock solutions that we wanted to try and although the result won’t necessarily boost performance, it will certainly make our weekend easier if I am struggling like I was here. Now, we have a good direction as well as more of an understanding about my YZR-M1. I’m always happy about these types of test because, like in Jerez, I can leave with more knowledge and added confidence for the package that I have. I will rest up now for two weeks and then get ready for Assen which I am looking forward to."

Profil


Pol Espargaro

Position: 13th - Time : 1'45.835 - Laps: 48

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"Overall, the test was successful and we can leave here feeling pleased with what we discovered. We worked on the tyres, the clutch and suspension settings, but the main area of focus was to try to improve the rear grip which was our weakness this weekend and we have made good progress even if I didn’t really go for a fast single lap time. With regards to the tyres, I sampled one new option and I ran ten consistent laps on it. It felt really good because there was stability at the beginning of a run and the drop off was not big, similarly to the medium option. We collected some good information and the best improvements are the traction and the increased stability, which is key. I don’t know exactly when this tyre will be introduced, but my feedback is positive. For the suspension, we adjusted the rear shock as we had a lack of grip on the rear, so I tried three settings and found some encouraging results. Considering that we were already competitive yesterday, I am now confident that I can be even stronger because of today’s outcome. I am pleased with the race performance because it was the first time that we were competing with the front guys so we deserved our result here and with the knowledge that we have gained, the team and I are optimistic for Assen."

Profil

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaro produced a superb performance in front of over 100,000 passionate fans to seal the top independent position for the fourth time this season. The 24-year-old Spaniard kicked off his campaign from the 12 place on the grid and launched forward when the lights went out before closing the first lap in 8th. With the target being a strong finish in front of his home crowd, Espargaro quickly stuck into a formidable pace and he dived past the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso two laps later. He continued pushing and was running in 5th with a third of the distance left to run, before meeting the chequered flag in this position, marking a positive close to the weekend for the Barcelona born rider.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 pit box, Bradley Smith’s weekend came to an unfortunate end after withdrawing from the race six laps in due to a technical issue with the engine. The young Briton began the race from the fifth row of the grid and he undertook a solid start after taking the outside line into the first turn. However, shortly afterwards he dropped to the back of the field and then despite his best efforts he was forced to retire a few laps later. Today’s result marks a disappointing end to a tough weekend for the 25 year old, yet, after tomorrow’s test at the Catalunya circuit, he will seek to bounce back strongly at the Dutch Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.


Pol Espargaro

Position: 5th - Championship: 6th - Points: 59

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"Even though I am really pleased with my performance today, I have to say that it was a hard weekend and the race was especially challenging but my main target was to finish the GP for Luis so I put in 200% effort and achieved it. When I was sitting on the grid, I was a bit unsure about which rear tyre to run. I had used the medium compound all weekend long, yet the majority of the grid was going for another option and only Bradley, Dani and me picked the medium compound. Now I believe it was definitely the right choice, especially because we were able to be strong in the opening laps after a good start. Then, I kept the distance from Cal and pushed until the chequered flag. Looking back on the weekend, I have to say that I believe it was the right choice to continue the event. In our sport we showed that we are a big family, and even if all of us didn’t know Luis, we gave our respect to him, with the three best riders in the race demonstrating this by putting on the memorial shirts as well as all the riders running Luis’ number. We had to make some important decisions in the safety commission to show the world that we care and that we are united but, he will always be in our thoughts and the best way to remember him is to continue showing our love as a family. Next up we have a test tomorrow, and then after that it will be round 8 in the Netherlands."

Profil


Bradley Smith

Position DNF - Championship: 12th - Points: 29


Bradley Smith - 2016"It goes without saying that this is quite an upsetting way to finish the Grand Prix. As soon as we began, I noticed that something wasn’t right with the bike, even though I didn’t know immediately what it was. We lost a lot of positions and I was struggling when slowing the bike down. Now, we will obviously investigate what happened in order to figure out what the issue was. However, it’s frustrating to finish this way because I certainly felt that we could have had a really positive close to an otherwise tricky weekend. Thanks to the Tech3 team for their efforts in Catalunya, we’ll work out the issue and then start again with testing tomorrow. Nevertheless, I am certain that we can get right back to where we need to be at the next round which is the Motul Dutch TT."

Profil

 


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :


“Everyone thought the change in track layout would be a handicap for Yamaha due to the first gear corners, but in the end it was amazing to see Valentino fighting with Marc. On our side, there was a big disappointment because after the struggle that we had in practice, Bradley found his pace and we were very confident that a top eight result was achievable. He had an ok start but we could see from lap two onwards that there was an issue. He pitted shortly after and unfortunately suffered a technical issue with the engine. This was a big pity because he could have finished strongly. On the other side, Pol did an amazing job. We knew that he had the speed even if he didn’t get that one hot lap in qualifying, and we have been working a lot on our race pace. His start was great and he pushed hard at the beginning, then once the race settled half way through, he watched his pit board very closely and managed to keep the gap to the rider behind. Eventually, he brought the bike home in 5th, which is a great result for him and us at his home GP. We are competitive and this is the main thing, but there are eleven more races and we are sure there will be more success with Brad and Pol. It was very important and an amazing sign of respect to witness Valentino, Marc and Dani wearing Luis Salom shirts on the podium and also seeing all the riders with number 39 stickers. We want to dedicate this great weekend of racing to Luis Salom and his family. The whole paddock is thinking a lot about his mother who was very close to him, and the one minute of silence was very emotional for everybody and I’m sure no one will forget Luis.”

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team riders Pol Espargaro  will lunge forward from 12th on the grid at the Monster Energy sponsored Gran Premi de Catalunya as he aims to delight his fans in the round seven battle. Due to the tragic passing of Moto2 rider Luis Salom yesterday, the track layout was altered to avoid the 12th turn where Salom fell and the Formula One track configuration was selected instead for safety reasons. As a result, an extra 15 minutes was added to FP3, which Espargaro concluded impressively in 5th after blitzing to a 1’45.153 lap time. This left him only two-tenths from 3rd and able to comfortably pass through to QP2. When the 15-minute shootout began, he immediately jumped into action and after giving his all, he finished with a personal best of 1’45.218. The 24-year-old now aims to have a flying start and then finish as close as possible to the factory MotoGP riders by the time the chequered flag falls.

On the other hand, Bradley Smith will kick off his mission to end up as the leading satellite rider from the fifth row of the grid after a determined effort in qualifying today. The young Briton was increasing his pace in FP3 as the session drew to a close, but an unfortunate fall occurred at the second turn, which halted his chances of improving his time and caused him to participate in qualifying 1. Here, he rapidly set off and built up his speed at the physically demanding circuit. Smith dug deep and posted a lap of 1’45.197 on his penultimate run, which resulted in him finishing in 14th whilst also marking a huge cut of over two seconds from his FP3 time. Tomorrow, he will intend to undertake a rocket start and join the hunt with his teammate for the top independent position.


Pol Espargaro

Position: 12th - Time: 1'45.218 - Laps: 7

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"To be really honest I'm a bit disappointed with our qualifying performance because this morning we were fast as well as competitive and I had high hopes of scoring a strong position on the grid. To be honest, I do not really know what happened because in FP3 I had really good rear grip, which helped me to lap with a good rhythm. However, this afternoon the grip level wasn’t the same anymore, and this was probably due to the different conditions. Unfortunately, I was quite surprised and I couldn't make up this lack of grip and so I find myself on the fourth row, which is not where I expected to be. Now we will have to analyse the data for tomorrow so we can understand why this happened and also find out which tyre compounds to use for the race, as we tried all the possible options so far this weekend. However with a solid start, we can be strong in the fight and this is my aim for tomorrow as I really would like to make my fans cheer."

Profil


Bradley Smith

Position 14th - Time: 1'45.197 - Laps: 7


Bradley Smith - 2016"The step that we made today wasn’t as big as what we would have liked to, but we certainly made good progress in the right direction. Of course, the grid position is not the result that we were hoping for, yet if you look at the lap times in QP1 it was very competitive compared to the second session and my qualifying one time would have put me ahead of my teammate. We didn’t manage to ride a 1’44 lap today but I did the best that I could and we definitely improved a lot from FP4. Also, I must say thanks to the team who worked really hard to get my bike ready for this afternoon after the fall I had in FP3. We managed to improve to such a degree, that there are always some minor issues that remain and still need to be ironed out, so today felt like we were one session behind. Anyway, if there is a positive to be taken from not participating in QP2, it’s that we saved a set of tyres, which means that tomorrow we can do a solid, long run in the warm up and then set everything for what will be a challenging race. It certainly won’t be easy, and it will be tricky with these tyres, which may drop quite a bit in performance over the whole distance. Having said that, we are more optimistic about tomorrow than we have been for the weekend so far, so tonight we’ll look at the data and continue to work hard and I’m sure that we can progress even further. Hopefully, this will be reflected in the result and honestly, I think my chances are good because aside from Barbera, the satellite guys are bunched together. Therefore, I will focus on getting a good start tomorrow and we will see where we can finish."

Profil

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