Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro completed a bright start in cloudy Argentina to finish the opening day in 7th position aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1. Despite a cautious start to the day in FP1 due to the dirty track surface, the young Spaniard leapt into action in the afternoon and put in a thorough effort as he began establishing a strong setup for the 25 lap battle on Sunday. Although the weather was gloomy and the rain clouds threatened, only a few small drops fell which was not enough to disrupt the session and so Espargaro plugged away. He concluded the practice with a best lap of 1’39.648, which left him in 7th but only three tenths of a second back from 2nd place. His opening performance today at the fast flowing Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo leaves him poised for a successful show in qualifying tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Bradley Smith began his Argentina MotoGP weekend with a finish in 12th place in this afternoon’s FP2 practice as he looks to continue his positive run so far in 2015. The 23 year old wisely saved his efforts for the afternoon session where the track conditions improved considerably and here, he posted a series of consistent laps with the best being a 1’40.195. This time was set on the 16th lap out of 22, as he tirelessly covered more distance than any other rider in the second free practice whilst refining the set up of his Yamaha YZR-M1. The British star now seeks to improve his time further in FP3 tomorrow ahead of the vital qualifying session.

Pol Espargaro
Position : 7th Times : 1'39.648  Laps : 19

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "Overall, it was a positive start to the Argentina round and I am pleased with what we managed to achieve today. We produced a good lap in the afternoon and the rhythm was solid with both hard and soft compounds of tyre. We were also quite close to the front during the whole FP2 session, which is certainly a positive. Tomorrow we have to concentrate on testing the tyres further as at the moment we are not sure which one will be the most effective in the race as the conditions are changing quite rapidly. The track is as dirty as last year which is a big pity as it has such a nice layout but we could not take advantage and enjoy riding it today due to the dirt. However, altogether it was a positive start to round 3 and additionally, my physical conditions are fortunately ok. Having said that, I do experience a slight bit of pain in the hard braking zones and also when I have to change direction quickly. However, I can handle this without painkillers, so I’m already looking forward to day 2 in Argentina."



Bradley Smith
 Position : 12th Times : 1'40.195  Laps : 22

Bradley Smith - 2015 "It was a tricky opening day as the track conditions were quite difficult, especially this morning. We lost a bit of time in FP1 as I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike, which could have been because of the tyre, the bike setting or the conditions. In the end, we concluded that it was a mix of these three factors. Therefore, this afternoon we needed to assess some different settings for both of my bikes as well as evaluate the new extra hard tyre from Bridgestone to see how we could improve. I felt much better straight away, but especially when we put in a new soft rear tyre that enabled us to make a big step forward. However, I'm convinced that I didn’t extract the maximum potential at the time so there is still plenty of space for improvement. Moreover, we are struggling with rear grip just like everyone else, but we have a good direction which we need to head towards to solve this. It is vital that we continue to adapt as the conditions change in order to progress, however, I am sure that when the track improves with grip, our setting will work much more effectively. At the moment to be outside the top ten is a bit risky, yet we still have tomorrow morning left to run, so we will see what happens but I remain confident."



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