Bradley Smith continued his strong form at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in qualifying today and will launch from the rear of the second row in tomorrow’s 28 lap sprint around the Le Mans circuit. The British rider began the day by undertaking some additional setup work in FP3 this morning where the track conditions were much colder when compared with day 1. Nevertheless, his brilliant time from yesterday’s free practice 2, where he clinched 1st position, was strong enough for him to graduate straight through to QP2. When rain started to fall at lunchtime before FP4, it looked like it would interfere with the Q2 session, yet the track had dried when the 15 minute shootout began. Here, Smith leapt into action straight away and powered onwards to ride a 1’33.299 lap time, confirming his sixth place on the grid which is his highest qualifying position this season. Tomorrow he will aim to undertake a flying start and then challenge for the leading satellite rider position at the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s home Grand Prix.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Pol Espargaro will begin from 12th place on the grid after a challenging qualifying 2 session at the 4.2 kilometre Le Mans circuit. The Spaniard produced a lap time of 1’33.694 in FP3 which saw him progress through to the second 15 minute shootout. As Q2 got underway, Espargaro took off at speed as he looked to seize a strong starting position for the race and ultimately he produced a personal best time of 1’33.724 on his final lap out of 9. Tomorrow he will intend to ride relentlessly through the field to end round 5 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship on a high.

Bradley Smith
Position : 6th Time : 1'33.299  Laps : 9

Bradley Smith - 2015"I’m really happy to be on the second row as I said at the beginning of the event that this was my target in the qualifying. However, on my flying lap, I made a mistake which probably prevented me from doing a high 1’32 lap time, so I could have been even higher, but I’m still delighted with what we achieved today. The team did a great job, especially considering the tricky conditions and we certainly made the right decision with the front tyre choice today and I felt confident. At the moment it’s a bit uncertain for everyone with regards to the race pace, however our race setting is strong so therefore I feel comfortable. This is especially important at this track because of the hard braking points and also the length of the Grand Prix. Everything went to plan today, but tomorrow is the most important day and I aim to start well and then follow the front guys for as long as possible, like I did in Austin, in order to score a great result here in France."



Pol Espargaro
Position : 12th Time : 1'33.724  Laps : 8

Pol Espargaro - 2015"For sure, today was not my best day and I hoped that we could have qualified in a higher position, like we did last year. However, suddenly in the Q2 session we found that we had an issue with the turning of the bike and there wasn’t enough time to fix this so it was impossible to improve the lap time even though the time that I set wasn’t super fast. I can’t hide my disappointment especially after the performance that we showed here last year, so I arrived with high expectations. Yet, the race hasn’t happened already and the points are still there to be taken, so the team and I will work to improve my feeling with my bike for tomorrow where I will fight for a strong result at the Tech3 team’s home race."





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