Bradley Smith completed the final day of testing at the Sepang International circuit with a confident and notable run to 6th in the combined standings, as he made his MotoGP rivals clear of his intentions for the 2015 season. The British rider had been meticulously testing the 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1 across the three days in Malaysia as he made the necessary changes to the setup in preparation for the all important season opener in Qatar at the end of March. After making the setup adjustments, Smith launched into a hot run today and clocked a best time of 1’59.883 on his 9th lap, expertly dipping below the exclusive 2-minute bracket. This time was a cut of almost a second and a half from his opening performance on Monday and even more impressively, he was only two tenths back from third position in what was a superb and high flying close to the test, after completing 41 laps on the final day.

Meanwhile Pol Espargaro rounded off the Sepang 2 test by finishing in 11th position in the standings after a determined effort on the final day, despite a crash in the morning which disrupted his plans. However, the young Spaniard posted a best time of 2’00.490 on his 13th lap, as he undertook a total of 37 in the searing heat of Malaysia. This result was an improvement of four tenths of second from day one and the young Spaniard powered onwards to post 126 laps across the three days. The 2013 Moto2 world champion now looks optimistically towards the next test in Qatar on the 14th-16th of March for the final test outing before the 18 race MotoGP season gets into full swing.

Bradley Smith
Position : 6th Time : 1'59.883 Laps : 41

Smith - Sepang - 2015"It was a good final day for me, especially to finish in the top 6. The team and I had more or less completed all of our test plans yesterday, but there were a few small things we needed to try today with the electronics and the clutch. So we tested three different ideas, with two of them being definitely an improvement. It’s these little changes that can make a different in the race. I am pleased to say that I did a 1’59 lap time, which was my objective for this test and it’s positive that I could achieve this. The bike now has a very good base setup, so next we will go to Qatar which is a completely different track and see if we can use the base setup we made here, at Losail. All in all, it was a good test. We’re close to being the top satellite bike but Cal is a bit faster, however our pace has been competitive and I am happy with the job the team and I have done here."


Pol Espargaro
Position : 11th Time : 2'00.490  Laps : 37

Espargaro - Sepang - 2015"Today was a bit of a tricky day for me. The feeling I had when I first went out on track was good and I was sure of having a positive day. I had just put on a new tyre to go for a fast lap time, but I was disrupted by a slow rider on track. I had to pass him with a quite risky move and unfortunately I ended up crashing. This was at the worst possible time because it was when the track was perfect in terms of temperature. Because bike 1 needed repairing, I went out on the second bike, but any chance of improving didn’t come easily for me and I had to stop shortly after because the track was so hot that the conditions were difficult to ride on. Once things had cooled down, we had some technical issues that slowed us again and after everything, there was only half an hour right at the end of the day where I could ride again. Having said that, after falling in the morning, I did not want to push too hard and end up worse, so we limited ourselves to ensuring that everything was working properly again without pushing. It’s a big shame that we weren’t able to finish our test schedule as we had planned. Anyway, next up is Qatar and we are equipped with lots of information and ideas for improvements after 5 days in Sepang, plus I am eager to roll on to another circuit, although there is still one more day of testing here, where we will test the 2016 Michelin tyres."


Bradley Smith continued his testing assault at the Sepang International circuit on day two by producing another encouraging performance to close the session in seventh position. The young British rider completed 50 laps around the famous Malaysian circuit and clocked his best time of 2’00.329 on the 49th lap at the end of the day. His performance highlighted a significant cut of nine tenths of a second from yesterday and saw him notably only 0.231 back from third position. Headway was made today after some constructive work by the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team with the English rider who will seek to maintain the positive momentum tomorrow as he grows more confident with the 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1 on every run.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro continued the vigorous testing of his Yamaha 2015 YZR-M1 today as he undertook 44 laps in the searing heat at the Sepang circuit. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion posted a best time of 2’00.689 on his 8th lap at the dawn of the test session, before eventually finishing in 10th position. Nevertheless, the Spaniard made steps forward and his time was quicker than yesterday’s best by almost two tenths of a second as he upholds his positive pre season form. Tomorrow, he will be back on track where he will proceed with his testing programme and seek to close the gap to the leader in lap times.

Bradley Smith
Position : 7th Time : 2'00.329 Laps : 50

Smith - Sepang - 2015"Today was a really positive day for me and the team. We began by doing a race simulation in the morning which was our main objective, in order to collect data and feedback. In addition, it was also so that I could understand the new 2015 Yamaha better and see how it handles during a race simulation with full fuel load or used tyres. The race run was very positive and I was able to stay consistently strong during the 20 laps, which indicates the team have done a good job and I have also with my training during the winter months. This afternoon I was able to improve the lap time and it was the closest that I have been to the front so far as I was just behind Valentino and 0.3 from Jorge, which is pleasing. Tomorrow we just need to continue with the testing programme and improving the bike. We are already doing a great job and are 95% there."


Pol Espargaro
Position : 10th Time : 2'00.689  Laps : 44

Espargaro - Sepang - 2015"Today was a tricky day for us, but I still remain positive and am ready to bounce back tomorrow. We actually began the day well and I put in a fast time quite close to the beginning of the session on the 8th lap. However, then we lost some time as we were trying some new settings and we couldn’t find the grip level that I needed to go faster in order to cut the gap to the leaders. Then at the beginning of the afternoon, I had a crash which really didn’t help matters at all and we lost valuable time because of it. Despite it being a challenging day, I am upbeat and we will keep the positive feeling from yesterday plus, use the data we collected today to close tomorrow on a high."


Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro began the Sepang 2 test with immediate speed to storm to third place on the opening day of action in Malaysia. The young Spaniard continued working on the 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1 as he gears up for the fast approaching 18 round season and made further progress in establishing a strong setup. The 23-year-old Catalan clocked a best time of 2’00.876 which he set on his 17th lap out of 45 to successfully see him finish inside the top three on the first day. Although rain fell in the afternoon, costing the riders the chance to improve their times, it did allow them to test rain setups and Espargaro ran six laps on wet tyres as he now looks to tomorrow to continue his bright start in Malaysia.

On the other hand, Bradley Smith opened his Sepang 2 account with a firm and confidence boosting ride to 8th position in the standings. The young British rider suffered a leg injury during the winter break and after easing back into riding at the first test, this week he returns to Sepang recovered and ready for action. The 23 year old set to work immediately as the session began as he sought to further refine and adjust the 2015 Yamaha YZR-M1 with the season opener in Qatar only a month away. The end result was a best time of 2’01.241, less than a tenth of a second back from 5th which he set on his 22nd lap before going on to complete 51 in total including several laps in the wet. His performance today leaves him fully confident of making further improvements tomorrow.

Pol Espargaro
Position : 3rd Time : 2'00.876  Laps : 45

Espargaro - Sepang - 2015 "I am really happy with the progress that we have made today and to finish in third is a great start to this test. We are continuing to work in the right direction and as soon as we started this morning, I knew that we could be quick. At midday it was already 54 degrees on the ground which was clearly warmer than the first test where it reached a max of 50 and so we weren’t able to ride as many laps. However, the general feeling for today was that it was productive and we focused on trying different electronic settings. The information that we collected will be very useful and furthermore, it was very good to run some laps in the rain as well. This meant that we could work on the wet setup and I am really pleased with this especially, as there is a definite improvement. The 2015 Yamaha feels great and I know that if I can ride a bit smoother and adjust my riding style slightly, we can be strong. There are a few more things which we have to study in order to improve, but we cannot rush everything and we must take it all step by step."



Bradley Smith
Position : 8th Time : 2'01.241 Laps : 51

Smith - Sepang - 2015 "It’s great to be back here at Sepang again after not such a long wait so that we can carry on getting prepared for Qatar. The track conditions were different today compared to the last time when we were riding here and the circuit was a bit unpredictable with the grip levels. In some corners there was a lot less than in others but I’m happy because I didn’t really lose a lot of time compared to the other riders in these conditions. I’m closer to the front than the last test and I am also pleased because my ankle is much better than it was, although it is still not perfect. We were able to ride in the rain as well which is positive. I didn’t risk too much but I already feel much more comfortable when compared to last year in the wet and the lap time was much quicker. I think we still need to work but we are starting to see what we need to do to carry a good lap time and also to get grip in the wet with the Yamaha."



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