Bradley Smith commenced his 2015 MotoGP campaign with an assertive ride to seize 8th at the Losail International Circuit under the floodlights. The young British rider began the race from the head of the third row in 7th and leapt forward as the lights went out to complete the first lap in 5th. Smith remained focused and set into his strong race pace and by the 4th lap, he was running in 7th place. The 23 year old rode consistently over the following laps and was in 8th position with eight laps left to run. This was whilst being locked in a fierce battle to be the top satellite rider as well as 7th place with three other MotoGP competitors. After being pushed back to 9th on lap 15, he burst past Hernandez to reclaim 8th shortly afterwards, before crossing the line only marginally behind Crutchlow who was half a second ahead. The encouraging finish sees the British rider open his 2015 account with a positive result and leaves him optimistic of obtaining another top finish at the next round in Texas.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Pol Espargaro finished the challenging Qatar night race right behind his teammate in 9th position after undertaking a strong effort. The young Spaniard completed the first lap in 6th position and was right in the hunt with the front running bikes. He was bumped back to 10th on the fifth lap but remained completely focused on regaining ground on his Yamaha YZR-M1. With only a quarter of race distance left to run, Espargaro was involved in the dice for 7th with his teammate and expertly clinched 9th on the 17th lap. The fastest satellite MotoGP rider of 2014 eventually met the chequered flag in this position, concluding the weekend with a positive collection of points and leaving him primed for success at the next race.

   
Bradley Smith
 Position : 8th Championship : 8th  Points : 8

Bradley Smith - 2015"I must admit that despite the good result, I am slightly disappointed as we were so close to being the top satellite bike at Qatar. This is our ambition for the year, so to miss this opportunity is a bit annoying. However, to finish only half a second back from Cal isn’t bad at all, especially at this early stage of the season. I had a good feeling with the bike during the whole race and we kept a consistent pace. Yet, I wasn’t really able to race how I wanted to and I had to remain riding in a smooth style throughout the whole distance. This was a bit difficult when battling with the Honda or Ducati’s because those bikes require different riding styles, which need the rider to be a bit more aggressive. Nevertheless to finish 8th and collect some valuable points as well as some useful experience and being so close to our objective of the top satellite bike is not a disappointment. In addition, we will improve and learn from Jorge and Valentino in order to be closer to the front at Austin."

Profil

Pol Espargaro
 Position : 9th Championship : 9th  Points : 7

Pol Espargaro - 2015"It’s been a difficult weekend for us. We experienced some issues on the first two days, yet we were able to improve them yesterday and during this morning’s warm up, I felt truly confident on the bike. Having said that, we have had a slight problem with the electronics throughout the weekend, which we were not able to clarify so we didn’t adjust the traction control in order to remain in the best possible way. Therefore the setup of the anti wheelie also wasn't ideal and I lost a lot in acceleration. I just couldn't pass the riders in front and I was often late on the brakes, so to be honest it was a real struggle. However, the main positive is that we managed to finish the Grand Prix and in any case, this weekend is normally a bit of an unusual one as we run at night and the conditions of the track are always changing so it’s difficult to take conclusion out of today's race. Of course, I’m not over the moon about today’s result as it was not my ambition. Yet, now we have to work on solving these problems at the next race in Austin where we must take advantage of the weekend as soon as the first session commences."

Profil

 

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"What a race and a brilliant way to start the 2015 World championship! Qatar always produces some incredible racing at the start of the year, but this one was very special for sure. It also seems to be a track that suits Valentino very well and the battle for the front was a really exciting one for everybody to watch. Coming back to the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team, we have started the championship well and there are many positives to consider when reviewing the weekend. We were only 0.5 of a second back from the first satellite bike and finishing in 8th and 9th is a strong finish which aids us in clinching 4th in the team championship. In addition, being only twelve seconds from the winner is a lot better than at some moments last year. Clearly we have improved and are closer to the front but now both riders need to be sharper with overtaking. We always knew that the top ten is a good target for this year as there are so many fast riders on track, so now we have to carry on in this positive groove at the next races. We are happy and confident after the first round and also after the tough winter testing, which certainly paid off, so we will see you all in Texas for hopefully an even better result." 

 

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