Pol Espargaro began the first day of the 2015 MotoGP season with best lap time of 1’56.361 as the MotoGP paddock returned back to action at the Losail International Circuit. The young Spaniard got straight to work with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and began refining the setup of the Yamaha YZR-M1 in preparation for the opening race on Sunday. The 23 year old finished the session in 11th and he set his quickest time on the 3rd lap as he completed 18 in total. His efforts saw him only a second from the top time and he also scored the fastest speed of the Yamaha MotoGP bikes with 344.6 kmh. Espargaro now looks onwards to tomorrow where he will intend to improve his position.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith concluded the opening day of action under the floodlights in Qatar with a 13th placed finish in FP1. The young Briton dug deep and completed a total of 20 laps, which was more than any other rider, as he began making the necessary steps and changes to his MotoGP bike. Smith produced his best time of 1’56.428 on his 11th lap which left him only 0.067 behind his teammate. Having kicked off his MotoGP campaign today, the 23 year old optimistically awaits the other two free practice sessions tomorrow with a view of making additional steps forward and ascending up the grid.

Pol Espargaro
 Position : 11th Time : 1'56.428  Laps : 18

Pol Espargaro - 2015"It’s finally time to get the wheels in motion for 2015 and I am very excited to contest in the first race. We have had a positive pre season and the bike is at a level that I am happy with, but of course it will be a challenging race and this year, I am under no illusions that it will be easy to finish close to the front. There will be a lot more riders who can fight for podiums and top positions when compared to the previous years. Having said that, I will do nothing but my best. The team did a great job over the winter so now it’s up to me and I am ready. Qatar is always special as it’s the only night race, which is really interesting and different for the MotoGP riders. I look forward to getting back on the Yamaha YZR-M1 and then giving my all to seize a good result which will set me up confidently for the next GP’s."



Bradley Smith
 Position : 13th  Time : 1'56.361  Laps : 20

Bradley Smith - 2015"It’s good to get the first practice underway and be back riding again. The difference you feel when you are actually racing for real where it means something is amazing and you don’t get that sensation when testing. I think the track conditions today were a bit tricky and not ideal for the setting which we have in place at the moment. However, I know we will improve tomorrow when the grip level increases. My lap times were good and I actually rode a better time on the ideal laps, where I was more than three tenths faster than my final result which would have placed me well inside the top ten. We still need to work more with the rear of the Yamaha to make it easier for me to ride, as the bike is a bit nervous at the moment. In any case, it's nice to ride and just get a general feeling of the track as it's a quite tricky one and I'm already looking forward to the next two sessions tomorrow."



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