The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro head down south to the Termas de Rio Hondo track in Argentina for round three of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, fresh from challenging at the Americas Grand Prix in Texas. They will compete on the 4.8 kilometre Rio Hondo circuit which is a fast flowing and meandering track that is entering its second year on the MotoGP calendar.
Britain’s Bradley Smith will be looking to continue his positive start to the year and intends to notch a third consistent strong result in the 2015 MotoGP season this weekend in Argentina. After battling to finish as the leading satellite rider, the 23 year old will once again take to the asphalt as he aims to consolidate his 6th position in the World Championship standings. Meanwhile Pol Espargaro who suffered bad luck in Texas after failing to finish the race, will look to bounce back and fight with his teammate to be the fastest satellite MotoGP rider. The 2014 MotoGP rookie of the year finished in 8th position last season, but is confident of beating this result and speeding to a top finish in South America.
Championship : 6th - Points : 18
"I’m looking forward to the race in Argentina after the good result we had in Texas and I’m happy the wait is not so long! The track wont have changed a lot from last year in terms of grip and the racing line will be quite narrow. For sure, it will be vital to get a strong qualifying position there and I intend to be far quicker than last year as I was not happy with the result or having to go through Q1. We are improving the setting every time we run the Yamaha but the main thing we need to focus on is looking after the front tyre. So we will keep studying the Yamaha data to see where I can improve. My ambition remains the same, which is to be close to the factory riders and after all of the positives we have had so far, I am going to Argentina confident and optimistic about getting another strong result."
Championship : 12th - Points : 7
"Unfortunately after all the hard work in Texas, our race day was ruined due to an incident, but anyway we must forget about this as well as the entire weekend as we now focus on Argentina. I am looking forward to visiting the Rio Hondo track again which is very fast and more of a Yamaha type of track. The local fans are really enthusiastic and are very happy to see MotoGP in their country, so therefore I will do my best to put on a good show for them and to make amends for the bad weekend in Texas. I know I have the pace to be up running with my teammate and battling for the leading satellite position. We’ve had a bit of bad luck so far this year, but at round 3 I know the team and I can pull together and get a strong result before we head to Europe."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
"Now that we’ve just finished the Americas Grand Prix, it’s time to jet off straight to Argentina for the third round of the championship. Texas was a bittersweet weekend for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. On one hand Brad did a fantastic job to finish in 6th, as the leading satellite bike and only ten seconds back from the leader. This was after a difficult qualifying and he began the race with an incredible start. Pol on the other hand was very unfortunate to have not been able to finish the race after looking so promising during the weekend. Both riders will take what they can from Texas and we expect both of them to be strong in Argentina and fighting exactly where they were this weekend. They both have the pace to be right behind the leading factory riders and a top six for either of them at Rio Hondo is not out of the question. The track is more suited to the Yamaha bikes due to the fast corners but it will be interesting to see how the track is in terms of grip as it is not used as often as other tracks. Nevertheless, we head to Argentina optimistic and confident of two strong results. They’re both doing a great job and of course, there’s a bit to work on but I’m sure they will put on a great show for the local enthusiasts."