Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith delivered a sensational FP2 performance to top the standings at the close of the first day of action at the French Grand Prix. The young Briton kicked off proceedings under bright and sunny weather conditions at the Tech3 team’s home race by finishing the opening session in 10th place with a lap time of 1’34.729. He then burst into action in the overcast afternoon practice before blazing to a superb time of 1’33.179 aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1 on his 18th lap out of 19. This time put him at the head of the field and 0.190 of a second ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. Despite the 23 year old unfortunately falling at turn 13 in the dying moments of the session, his performance today leaves him fully motivated for the race on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro completed the opening day of practice in 8th position after producing a solid display at the legendary 4.2 kilometre Le Mans circuit. The young Spaniard started the day with a finish of 5th in the FP1 session, having ran in 1st position until the closing stages of the practice. His final time was a 1’34.331 that left him only 0.051 behind second place as he intended to continue his efforts in the afternoon. Here, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion rode relentlessly and produced a top time of 1’33.903 on his final lap. Yet, he was unlucky to fall towards the end of the practice whilst trying to improve his time further, although he did not suffer any injuries. However, his positive start to the weekend sees him charged with confidence for the qualifying tomorrow where he will aim to repeat his result of 2nd place on the grid at last year’s event in Le Mans.

Bradley Smith
Position : 1st Time : 1'33.179  Laps : 38

Bradley Smith - 2015"Today was a great start to the weekend and I’m delighted to finish in first on the opening day in Le Mans at the Tech3 team’s home Grand Prix, which is also sponsored by Monster Energy. The team and I did a top job in the Jerez test where we made considerable steps forward with the front forks and the electronic settings. Moreover, we made consistent progress from the word go today and I must say that I feel much more comfortable here when compared to last year which was a tough weekend for me. I unfortunately fell in the final moments of the session but I don’t consider it to be my fault. Aleix went down in front of me so I got distracted and ran wide and then went onto the dirt and rode over a rock which caused the crash. This is annoying, but nevertheless it’s certainly super to finish the opening day at the top of the field and I’m fired up for the rest of the weekend."



Pol Espargaro
Position : 8th Time : 1'33.903  Laps : 38

Pol Espargaro - 2015"Overall today was quite a good start to the weekend. This morning my feelings on the bike were positive straight away and our pace was really promising. When the second session started, I went out on a new rear tyre but I had a few difficulties to face as the behaviour of the bike had changed from this morning. Yet, when we swapped the tyre at the end of the session, the issues that we had, just disappeared. We do not know why this sometimes happens, but it's not the first time this season that some new rear tyres have not had the same level of performance as the others. Beside that, I unfortunately made a mistake and crashed at the end of the back straight in the closing stages of the session without being able to set a fast lap. Therefore the gap to Bradley, who was 1st in the practice, does not worry me and I'm confident that I will be up there with him tomorrow afternoon."




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