Pol Espargaro delivered a strong performance in front of 52,000 passionate fans at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit to seize 6th in his 50th MotoGP race with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. The Spaniard sped away from the rear of the third row of the grid when the event began and after navigating his way around the stop and go track on the first lap, he crossed the line in 8th, having improved on his qualifying position by one place. From here, the 25-year-old quickly set into a strong rhythm, which saw him open up a gap to the pursuing riders as he tried to hunt down Cal Crutchlow in front of him. At the midpoint of the 24 lap sprint, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion was up to 7th as he maintained his consistency whilst he pushed on as the distance counted down. After producing a tireless effort right until the end of the demanding race, Espargaro met the chequered flag in 6th which marks a solid conclusion to the round 15 battle.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Bradley Smith bravely rode to 13th at the Japanese Grand Prix, despite not having full race fitness due to his injured right knee. The young Briton, who was making his first MotoGP appearance since damaging his knee in August, began the 24 lap contest from the fifth row of the grid. When the lights went out, he lunged forward but was shuffled back to 18th by the close of the opening lap. However, Smith focused and quickly set into a consistent rhythm, which saw him move back into the points with a third of the total distance having been completed. He dug deep and at the half way point, he was running in 14th as he continued to lap at a notable pace. Eventually, the 25-year-old crossed the finish line in 13th, which marks an impressive result when considering his condition, at Yamaha’s Home Grand Prix. Now, Smith confidently eyes up the Australian Grand Prix, which will take place in a week’s time.


Pol Espargaro

Position : 6th - Championship: 8th - Points: 106


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"It has been a tough day and it is important that we could take 10 points from this race, especially as it was a tricky GP but I am still a bit disappointed because we were not as competitive as we possibly could have been this weekend. I didn’t feel really comfortable in any of the practice sessions so I always knew it was going to be a long event. However, my start was good and I was able to stay in front of the Ducatis which I think was the key to our result. After the beginning, I couldn’t stay with the group who were ahead of me and I ran almost the entire Grand Prix on my own. Yet, with the crashes in front, we managed to finish in 6th, so we have to be happy about leaving Motegi with some crucial points for the independent rider fight in the Championship standings. Now, I’m really looking forward to Australia as the Phillip Island track is one that I really enjoy riding at and I have a lot of good memories there."

Profil


Bradley Smith

Position : 13th - Championship: 17th - Points: 45


 

Bradley Smith - 2016"No doubt, today has been a very hard day for me but it is definitely nice to get some points as a reward for the effort. In the last seven weeks I’ve had to watch the rest of the MotoGP world go racing, whilst I’ve been at home, so it is a good feeling to be back on the grid and getting myself involved, therefore I can't be disappointed about a 13th place finish as I didn't even know if I was going to be able to complete the GP a few days ago. To be honest, I forgot how long the races are in terms of distance, but riding out there for 24 laps at the absolute maximum was really demanding today and doing it without making any mistakes is probably the hardest challenge for me at the moment. I want to say a big thank you to the whole team because they have done a fantastic job over the weekend in preparing a great bike, as well as taking a lot of care, even if I wasn't able to work as closely as usual with them, because the physiotherapy took a lot of time away. Moreover, I also want to thank Yamaha for all their assistance during my stay in Japan. Being away from home meant that I truly needed a helping hand and they have been very supportive so I'm really grateful for that."

Profil


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager:


 

“It was another great race today and who could have imagined that the two factory Yamaha MotoGP riders would not see the finish flag and Marc would win the championship. With regards to the Tech3 guys, firstly, I want to congratulate Pol because he did the best that he could all weekend long. 6th is a solid position, plus he was also the leading Yamaha, but we know the reasons why. He was a bit too far behind Cal and never got close enough to pass him, so he wisely just kept control of the gap to the pursuing riders, before crossing the line. In terms of the fight for the top independent rider in the championship standings, anything is possible because Cal is only ten points ahead of us and we have three more races to go. On the other side of the garage, I have to say that Bradley did a superb job today and I want to give him very special congratulations because when he arrived here on Thursday, we weren’t sure if he could even do one lap. Not only did he complete all of the practices, but he also qualified in 15th which is quite incredible. However, we didn’t think that he could complete the entire distance. It’s amazing that he did and he scored a good result ahead of some of the regular riders who are fully fit. So I want to give him massive thanks and hopefully, his knee should be a bit better in Australia. Thanks to the whole team for their hard work and let's see what happens down under next week.”

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro will begin his quest to finish as the top independent rider in tomorrow’s Japanese GP by bolting from the third row of the grid. The young Spaniard immediately launched into action in this morning’s all important FP3 practice, as he continued his setup work whilst carrying on the positive momentum from yesterday. After pushing non-stop in the 45-minute shootout, his fastest time left him 9th in the combined practice standings and therefore, able to pass directly through to Q2. Here, Espargaro built up his pace and eventually sped to a personal best of 1’45.232, which he set in the final moments of the thrilling session. This lap saw him qualify in 9th position and just over a second back from the reigning MotoGP World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo. Now, the 25-year-old aims to undertake a rocket start tomorrow and then force his way through the pack to clinch a notable result at Yamaha’s Home GP.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team pit box, the recovering Bradley Smith, who is handicapped by an injury to his right knee, bravely qualified on the 5th row of the grid for the round 15 battle. The young Briton got straight to work this morning and he courageously completed 17 laps as he grew stronger with every run. He set his quickest time at the end of the practice and the performance left him in 20th overall, having improved by nearly four seconds from his personal best lap of the opening session. Later today, in qualifying one, the 25-year-old produced a heroic display as he rode at an impressive pace, despite the limitation with his knee, and he posted his personal best on his last lap out of 4. This time sealed 15th position and now Smith optimistically awaits the race where he will give his all in order to finish the Japanese Grand Prix.


Pol Espargaro

Position : 9th - Time: 1'45.232 - Laps: 8


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"Overall, I have to be satisfied about qualifying on the third row today, as this session is the one that I have been struggling with the most in the last few races. For example, in Aragon, we were fast for the entire weekend but I ended up on the fourth row by the end of QP2. Therefore, ninth is nothing to be too excited about, but at least it gives us the chance to stay with the top guys at the beginning of the race. The main aim in the opening stage of the GP will be to stay in front of as many Ducatis as possible, because I’m convinced that it will be very tricky to pass them later on, due to their advantage with acceleration. In terms of tyre choices, we have a clear idea about what to use, and fortunately for us, our rhythm over race distance should be better than a single lap performance. We tried a completely different setup in FP4, however, I felt that it wasn’t as beneficial as we expected, so we opted for another direction for qualifying and it took me a few laps to adapt to this new setting. Nevertheless, during the second run, I felt a lot better and I believe we will continue to work with this option in tomorrow’s warm up so that we can put ourselves in the best possible position for the 24 lap battle."

Profil


Bradley Smith

Position : 15th - Time: 1'46.593 - Laps: 4


 

Bradley Smith - 2016"We have to be more than pleased with today’s qualifying position because 15th is far beyond what we could expect when considering my injury. The team did an excellent job and together, we made some subtle changes to the bike which meant that step by step, my knee felt more comfortable in each session. Of course, qualifying is only a short distance and tomorrow will be much harder with the race being 24 laps, but today’s result is fantastic and now I just need to try and rest up as much as possible. For me, the tyre choice is quite clear for both ends of the bike and we have focused a lot on the rear grip, which is very important here because of the big acceleration. We will see what tomorrow brings but I’ve given myself a good opportunity by qualifying in 15th and the main objective is to get through the 24 laps."

Profil

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaro kicked off the all-important Japanese GP weekend by finishing the opening day in 10th. The Spaniard jumped into gear in the morning as he began adjusting his Yamaha YZR-M1 for Sunday’s race, which will be the 18th Grand Prix to take place at the legendary Twin Ring Motegi circuit. After completing 16 laps, his best time left him in 11th. Then, in FP2, Espargaro carried on his efforts, but he unfortunately fell at turn nine, although he luckily escaped without any injuries. However, the 25-year-old effectively only had 15 minutes of track action due to the fall as he sat out the remainder of the session after the impact and as a result, he completed only nine laps. Yet, he impressively set his personal best on his fifth lap whilst using a hard rear compound, which saw him conclude the session in 10th and just over a second from the leading time. Tomorrow, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion who seized the title at Motegi, will look to make a solid start in FP3 and then qualify strongly at Yamaha’s home race.

On the other side of the Tech3 team pit box, Bradley Smith courageously eased back into riding his Yamaha YZR-M1 as he made his first MotoGP appearance since sustaining a knee injury in August, which forced him to sit out the previous three Grand Prix’s. The main target was to complete as much distance as possible and become accustomed to his MotoGP bike again whilst also building up to race fitness as he rode 13 laps in FP1. In the afternoon, he bravely continued his work and after covering an additional 15 laps, he cut 2.518 seconds from his best time in FP1. The Briton will now rest overnight before returning to the track tomorrow morning for FP3.


Pol Espargaro

Position : 10th - Time: 1'46.245 - Laps: 25


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"Overall, today was a solid start to the weekend. This morning’s result wasn’t incredible but I believe that we still had a good session. In FP2, I went out with the hard rear compound and felt comfortable straight away and so I was posting strong lap times which put me inside the top six. Yet, not long into the session I unfortunately made a slight mistake and lost the front in the ninth corner. This was a pity because we only have one M1 with the chassis that I like a lot so when I went out on my second bike, the feeling was completely different. Therefore, we decided that it was better to wait for tomorrow’s morning session to continue our setup work. Nevertheless, it is positive to end the day inside the top 10. Now we will try to analyse today’s data and maybe we can learn something from Valentino and Jorge, plus with a good rest, I am sure that I’ll be back stronger tomorrow."

Profil


Bradley Smith

Position : 21st - Time: 1'48.897 - Laps: 28


 

Bradley Smith - 2016"First and foremost, I have to say that it was quite emotional to ride my bike again this morning because these last seven weeks haven’t been easy but I finally reached my goal of returning to the track. Many friends, family and physiotherapists have spent a lot of time and effort to help me get fit enough to race again and the only ambition in these past fifty days was to compete in the last four Grand Prix’s with Tech3, so it is great to finally get back to where I need to be. Of course, today has been challenging because my knee is obviously not perfect, however, we made a good step forward from this morning to this afternoon, which has given me a confidence boost. I hope that with a bit of rest, we can achieve more tomorrow. I must give big thanks to the Tech3 team, because the guys have been very patient, plus they modified the bike to suit my needs. Most importantly, the team worked in a fantastic way to keep me calm so I can enjoy my experience back in Japan."

Profil

Sponsors

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