Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith delivered a fully determined performance today at the Austrian Grand Prix to clinch 9th in front of more than 95,000 enthusiastic spectators. The British star leapt forward from the middle of the fifth row of the grid and after navigating his way through the frantic first lap, he crossed the finish line in 11th. Shortly afterwards, Smith slipped back two positions but pushed onwards before moving up to 10th at the halfway point. He sustained his strong rhythm and closed down the gap to Laverty before gliding past him on lap 17 and then comfortably pulling away. The 25-year-old continued to lap at an impressive pace right until the chequered flag and was unlucky to just miss out on the top independent position by three-tenths of a second. Nevertheless, the result marks a positive close to a previously challenging weekend for the British rider.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Pol Espargaro pulled off a positive recovery charge to complete the round 10 fight at the spectacular Spielberg circuit in 10th. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion kicked off his campaign from the fifth row of the grid after a tricky qualifying and concluded the opening lap in 14th. He then upped his pace as he aimed to climb through the field and his strong rhythm saw him rise to 13th with nine laps completed. Next in his sights was Danilo Petrucci who the Spaniard expertly closed down and shot past six laps later. He remained consistent and he continued to push, before overtaking Aleix Espargaro on lap 23, and then Eugene Laverty one lap later. Espargaro then comfortably opened a gap and crossed the finish line one position behind his teammate.


Bradley Smith

Position: 9th - Championship: 14th - Points: 42


 

 Bradley Smith - 2016"Overall, I have to be happy with the result and we really turned things around today. Having said that, I am also a little bit disappointed because the top satellite position was the aim, especially after the pace that we had in warm-up and I knew that we had a good chance. I was lucky at the beginning of the GP with all the jumps starts around me but I lost a large amount of time on the opening lap and then there were quite a few mistakes by other riders, which cost me. I was pleased that I managed to cut the gap to Laverty and Redding and I believe that I was really strong in the middle part of the Grand Prix. The only issue was that I put a lot of stress on my tyres to close that deficit to those riders. As we weren’t too sure about the fuel consumption, we had to play it safe and slightly dial down some of the power, which meant that I wasn’t able to get close enough to Redding to make a full attack. However, we already knew it would be a challenging weekend, but from where we were on Friday to where we are now, it’s clear to see that we’ve made a big step and I have to say that I’m very proud."

Profil


Pol Espargaro

Position: 10th - Championship: 8th - Points: 78


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"It goes without saying that 10th position is a long way from where we want to be but we still have to look at the positive points, especially after a challenging weekend like this. It was the first time this season that we were not as competitive as we should have been, yet we managed to increase the gap to our direct revivals in the Best Independent Rider battle with Barbara and Crutchlow. However, we were not able to completely solve the difficulties that we had to face in the last two days, but still, we went for the best compromise which enabled me to improve my pace unlike in the practice sessions. Fortunately, now we are going straight to Brno, which is a track that suits the Yamaha’s style a lot better and where we have a lot of data from the previous years. Therefore, I am sure that my feeling on the YZR-M1 will once again be as good as it was in Germany."

Profil


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager:


 

“It was an incredible weekend for MotoGP in Austria and we were given a very warm welcome, the facilities are amazing and the organisation was superb for our first race back here after so many years. This race is great for the country and very good for our sport. With regards to the Tech3 riders, we are reasonably happy and even though there is not a huge amount to celebrate because the riders finished in 9th and 10th, we had a tough week, so to obtain these positions is a rewarding payback for the team’s efforts. From the word go, Brad and Pol pushed hard and had a strong pace all the way through and they gained places one by one. They deserve their results inside the top ten, even if they are further back from where they would like to finish. These points will keep us as the first independent team in the championship standings, which is important to me. Also Pol remains on top in the leading satellite battle which is very good news. We are a happy team, and now we are heading to the Czech republic with a positive feeling and there, I hope we can make a step up with both riders.”

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith undertook a solid recovery from what was an uphill start yesterday in the 10th round of the MotoGP World Championship. The 25-year-old, who endured a tough opening to the day at the undulating Spielberg circuit, concluded the first session in 17th as he completed 22 laps. However, the English rider remained resolute and after the changes the team undertook, Smith delivered a promising performance in FP4 before attacking as soon as Qualifying One began. His personal best lap was shy of the cut-off point for Q2 by just over a tenth of a second, however, he made a huge improvement of 1.815 on yesterday’s FP2 time. In addition, this result would have left him just outside the top ten in qualifying 2. The British star remains focused and optimistic of picking up a strong finish tomorrow and will commence the Austrian Grand Prix from fifth row of the grid.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Pol Espargaro gave his all despite struggling to adjust his Yamaha YZR-M1 to the challenging Austrian circuit and will kick off his Grand Prix battle from right behind his teammate. The Spaniard leapt straight into action this morning and delivered 21 laps as he posted his quickest time on his final run, however, this lap resulted in him having to compete in Qualifying One in the afternoon. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion charged away when the shootout began and eventually set his personal best on the 6th lap out of 7, which saw him finish behind his teammate by 0.139. Nevertheless, despite the tricky qualifying, Espargaro remains confident for the 28-lap sprint tomorrow.


Bradley Smith

Position: 14th - Time: 1'24.126 - Laps: 9


 

 Bradley Smith - 2016"We have gained some more experience and track time which means that we were faster today, even if we didn’t have the best start to this weekend. Yet, I am satisfied with my performance because we made a big step from yesterday with regards to the lap time which I cut by just under two seconds today. In FP4, I began to find a better rhythm than what we had so far this weekend, which of course, is pleasing. It goes without saying that we are going to try to improve the Yamaha this evening so that we can have a more consistent bike for tomorrow. Yet, on the whole, the team has done a fantastic job, so I must say thanks to them because we’re all in this situation together and we are trying as hard as we can. I believe that we have a solid race pace that will enable me to fight inside the top ten, so I need to concentrate on a good start and then we’ll see what happens from there."

Profil


Pol Espargaro

Position: 15th - Time: 1'24.265 - Laps: 7


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"It didn’t quite go to plan today but we are making steps forward, even if they are small ones compared to the other riders. However, I must say that it’s tricky to set the bike up at this track because of its hard braking points and this is where we are struggling the most. The team and I are trying as many solutions as possible in the few sessions that we have available before qualifying, but until now we haven’t found the right combination or direction. This hard braking issue is the reason why I am losing time in sector one and two as these sectors feature some key points. I tried to follow some other riders but that wasn’t easy for me to do, so as a result, we will start from 15th tomorrow. Still, I am confident that we can amend the current situation and we will use the warm-up to refine the setting in order to be as competitive as possible for the race, even if I haven’t given myself an easy task on the grid."

Profil

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro bolted into action during the first day of the Austrian GP and finished in 13th as he battled the rapid Spielberg circuit for the first time. The young Spaniard wasted no time in getting up to speed, despite having to learn the new venue on the 2016 MotoGP calendar. Nevertheless, he completed 25 laps in FP1, the joint highest number in the session, and ended the practice with a personal best that was only a second from the front. His progression continued in the afternoon as he carried on taking steps forward in preparation for Sunday. The 25-year-old upped his pace and eventually powered to a time that was just over half a second from 5th, marking a solid close to the opening day. The current leading satellite rider in the championship standings will seek to maintain his momentum tomorrow and clinch a top tier grid position for the 28-lap shootout.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 pit box, Bradley Smith began his round 10 campaign with a determined effort aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 as he prepares for the first race on Austrian soil since 2007. The 25-year-old started his day by concluding the opening practice behind his teammate by only 0.115, as he grew accustomed to the undulating circuit on a MotoGP bike. In the afternoon, Smith relentlessly completed 27 laps as he focused on setting up his Yamaha for the GP and he finished with a lap time that was just one second from Word Champion, Jorge Lorenzo. The young Briton eyes up tomorrow with optimism as he confidently intends to undertake a positive qualifying performance.


Pol Espargaro

Position: 13th - Time: 1'25.221 - Laps: 47


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"It's nice to be back on my M1 after the summer break and personally, I like the layout of the circuit a lot. It's fun to ride, flowing and the grip level is really high. There are a few critical points on the track and it's very fast, but it's definitely different to the places where we usually go racing and that makes it special. Having said that, I'm convinced that we didn't show our true potential today, as I still don't know the layout enough and I'm lacking some references. Therefore, I occasionally missed my braking points, especially after having put on new tyres. I felt a bit nervous on the bike and for sure my fastest lap time is quite far from where we could have been, yet the gap to the factory guys isn't too big and we have a lot of margin of improvement to make. It was very helpful to follow some other riders today and this was mainly what I tried to do in order to quickly obtain as much information as possible. After two sessions we now have a good base for the weekend and I'm looking forward to getting more laps under my belt tomorrow, plus I'm sure we will climb up in the rankings."

Profil


Bradley Smith

Position: 17th - Time: 1'25.941 - Laps: 50


 

 Bradley Smith - 2016"I am happy to be working with the guys again and back racing after the summer break. With regards to our performance today, it’s clear to see that we have a bit more work to do and I’m a bit disappointed. I have to admit that we also didn’t make a big enough change in between the practice sessions which meant that it wasn’t possible to lower the lap time as much as the other guys. I think tyre life is going to be one of the main issues here this weekend. A lot of riders did short sprints today, but this afternoon I put in two fairly decent long runs and the endurance of the tyres seems to be a continuing issue. I’m a bit worried, and even more so if the temperature keeps on rising for the rest of the weekend, however, let's see what happens. It goes without saying that we want to improve our one lap pace, yet right now the sensible option is to try and work on something for the race distance. That is what we tried to do today, and we have some more work to do but I’m sure we can get closer to where we want to be tomorrow."

Profil

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