Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Pol Espargaro kicked off his 2015 campaign with a strong opening run to finish in 6th position on the first day of testing at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia. Today's action saw the MotoGP riders back on track for the first time in over two months as the pre season got into full swing in dry conditions. The 2014 rookie of the year wasted no time in getting up to speed straight away and after tirelessly undertaking 55 laps, he set his quickest time of 2'00.930 on the 29th lap to leave him in 6th and fastest of the satellite MotoGP bikes. His bright start highlighted his firm intent for the 2015 season as his time was a mere four tenths of a second from the top three.
Meanwhile, Britain's Bradley Smith concluded the first day of the 2015 pre season campaign with a ride to 9th place and a best lap of 2'01.707 whilst experimenting with setup options as he looks to continue building up his speed in the following test sessions. The young British rider completed 52 laps of the famous Sepang circuit as he set his quickest time half way through the day on lap 27, aboard the 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1. With two more testing days to follow, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider optimistically looks to lower his lap time whilst he sets about establishing a strong base setup to contest the forthcoming season opener in Qatar at the end of March.
Pol Espargaro : 6th - 2'00.930
"It was really nice to be back on track today. Just to be on my Yamaha again and to feel the speed of the M1 has already made me happy. Aside from this, we had a constructive day and I set a good time. I tried to lower my time towards the end of the session, but the track was quite slippery which prevented me from progressing further. However, my rhythm is promising and I remain positive for the next two days. We were able to improve in the key areas that we wanted to, when compared to last season, so I'm already excited to continue testing tomorrow morning. Furthermore, I am able to say that my physical condition has improved a lot from last season when I first rode the bike. This is because my preparation for 2015 with training has been different, yet additionally, I'm also riding smoother, which does not require as much strength. Therefore I could take advantage of the full test time, which had not been the case last year on the opening day"
Bradley Smith : 9th - 2'01.707
"I am happy to have jumped back on the Yamaha today and having completed 52 laps we were able to get a good feeling with the M1 after such a long time off the bike, which is positive start. This week is just going to be a case of providing general feedback because my leg has not quite recovered from the injury, which means that I don't think I will be able to push for really fast lap times. Nevertheless, I am sure that we can still find a good pace plus firm our direction to head towards and in the future we will try new solutions with electronics and geometry settings. I was able to evaluate bike 1 and bike 2 which both had slightly different setups, but the overall feedback was encouraging for both. The track conditions are a bit better than when we visited here for the GP last year and although it's hotter and there is less grip than in Valencia, the improvements that I felt in Spain with the 2015 bike have certainly continued here. Overall, I am pleased with today's performance, plus the new bike for this year is a good step forward which I am very satisfied about. I want to thank Yamaha for giving Pol and I this opportunity and I look forward to tomorrow"