Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith followed up his hard fought 5th place finish at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya by finishing at the top of the pile in the post race MotoGP test. The young British rider tested various settings for the front end of his Yamaha YZR-M1 in order to combat the lack of grip which he has experienced at some of the previous rounds. Smith undertook 18 laps in total before midday and posted a best time of 1'42.018. However, torrential rain then fell at the circuit, drawing a premature close to the test. Nevertheless, his performance left him 0.051 ahead of the next rider and sees him fully confident of riding to another top result at the Motul TT Assen.

Meanwhile Pol Espargaro finished the post Catalunya Grand Prix test in 8th position after experimenting with the balance and the riding position on his Yamaha YZR-M1. The Spaniard, who unfortunately fell during his home Grand Prix yesterday, got straight to work and rode 18 laps this morning before the thunderstorms interrupted the session. He set his fastest lap on his 8th which was a 1'42.637 leaving him in 8th and six tenths of a second back from his teammate who topped the standings. Despite the weather causing an early finish for the 24 year old rider, he remains confident of clinching success at the next race in the Netherlands at the legendary Assen circuit.

Bradley Smith
Position : 1st Time : 1'42.018  Laps : 18

Bradley Smith - 2015 "Today was a really interesting test for us and I'm pleased with the outcome. It was very short at just 18 laps, but I knew that I had to get out on track early because we were aware that the rain was coming in the afternoon. In total, we did four runs and we were able to analyse some different settings for the front suspension which enabled us to get a bit more feeling and stability. All three solutions were positive so this means that we have a good base to start from in the future. We completed 90% of our work today as we weren't expecting a long test. Altogether, we had five or six runs planned and in the end, I ran four so we didn't miss out on a lot. The lap time was ok considering the cooler track temperature this morning, but I feel happy that we've made a good step forward and I can't wait for the Motul TT Assen next week."


Pol Espargaro
Position : 8th Time : 1'42.637  Laps : 18

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "We wanted to try a few different setup options and today should have been a very imporant day, but unfortunately the rain prevented us from making a lot a progress. I only rode 18 laps and it started raining quite early so in the end, we just had time to experiment with the height of the bike and the riding position. Yet, due to the lack of track time, the results are inconclusive for now as we couldn't evaluate it fully and on a new set of tyres. Furthermore, there wasn't enough time to get into a good rhythm to see how the changes affected the bike over a number of laps. Therefore, we are leaving here a bit dissatisfied, as today should have been vital to test after the tricky weekend we had. However, we will improve in Assen where I intend to bounce back strongly."



Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith rode to another strong result aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya to equal his best performance of the 2015 season and finish in 5th. The young British rider commenced the 25 lap battle from 8th on the grid and undertook an expert start as the lights went out before going on to finish the first lap in 6th. He quickly set into his race pace and posted strong lap times that elevated him up to 5th. As the race distance progressed, he eventually became involved in a tussle with Andrea Iannone who he kept at bay until the 18th lap. Smith was shuffled back to 6th but remained resolute and pushed onwards. With five laps remaining he was running comfortably in 5th and powered across the finish line in this position. His performance today sees him close to one point of Marc Marquez in 5th position in the MotoGP riders championship standings.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Pol Espargaro was unfortunate at his Home Grand Prix as he fell in the opening stages of the race. The Spaniard began the race with a superb start from 11th place on the MotoGP grid and closed the first lap in 4th having overhauled 7 riders. He then set into a strong rhythm as he intended to continue his progress towards the front of the field. Yet, his luck ran out and he fell on the 4th lap whilst locked in a battle with his teammate and Dani Pedrosa which marked a disappointing and premature end to his promising start to the 7th round of the MotoGP World Championship.

Bradley Smith
Position : 5th Championship : 6th  Points : 68

Bradley Smith - 2015"Fifth place is a fantastic result for us after what was a tricky weekend! The team did a superb job and we worked non stop every day to try and make a setting that we could use for the race. Eventually, we made a big step in time for the GP with the front setting of the bike, but maybe it was ultra conservative and it hampered me a little in terms of performance. Yet, it meant that I had a lot of feeling in the front which resulted in me knowing whether it was going to tuck or not and this was useful as we saw a few guys lose the front. However, even though it may have limited me a bit, I still managed to adapt to it in the first three laps and then I got into my rhythm. In all honesty, the pace was slow but it was the best that I could do and in the end, consistency is key as this result was great for the championship. Now I am just one point behind Marc and 21 ahead of Cal for the satellite bike battle which is strong from my point of view. We have a test tomorrow which will be interesting for us and we will look to amend the issues which have been affecting us in the past couple of race, that have all been quite similar. So it’s no rest for me and I plan to work hard tomorrow with the team so we can improve the bike for Assen and the remaining races this year."


Pol Espargaro
Position : DNF  Championship : 9th  Points : 45

Pol Espargaro - 2015"It's a very upsetting way to finish the weekend, especially as it is my home Grand Prix. We knew it would have been a challenging race as we were struggling during the weekend when the track temperature was very high. Yet, I was optimistic about today and after the start, things seemed to come together quite well. I was able to recover seven positions straight away but after that I started to have an issue whilst turning the bike and unfortunately I ended up losing the front at the third corner. It's really disappointing but we don't have much time to think about it and we can’t dwell on it as we are testing tomorrow. This test will give us the chance to work on the difficulties that we had to face during these three days which we need to amend in order to be prepared for our next challenge at Assen."


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"Even though it wasn’t such a special race to watch, I must firstly congratulate Yamaha on their result today and also their domination in the MotoGP class this year. For the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders, it was a bittersweet race and we knew the track situation would be tough as the surface was greasy. However, both of our boys had very strong starts and they were on each side of the front pack going into turn one. Pol then finished the first lap in 4th and Brad in 6th which was very promising but then unfortunately our Spanish rider was unable to finish the race, which surely would have gone well. It’s a big shame for him, the team and the season. On the other hand Brad had a very challenging race, but he used his head and was very sensible. I told him on the grid to be smart and he certainly did. He fought with Iannone but eventually let him through as he was quicker and so Brad used him to keep a good rhythm. It was another top five finish which is great and it’s quite surprising that after 7 races, Brad is just one point behind Marc Marquez! Furthermore, we are still on par with the Repsol Team which is very positive. Next up is Assen, where hopefully both riders will see the chequered flag.” 


Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith will start the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya from the third row on the grid after speeding to 8th place in this afternoon’s qualifying practice 2. The 24 year old rider began the day by finishing the morning FP3 session in 10th place which enabled him to progress straight through to the final 15 minute shootout. Here, Smith dropped the hammer straight away and after undertaking a total of 7 laps around the Catalunya circuit, he met the chequered flag with a strong time of 1’41.068. This time was only half a second back from the pole position lap plus, the British rider set the fastest Yamaha speed with 339.9 km/h. Tomorrow he will look to launch off the grid and battle right behind the leading factory MotoGP bikes aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Pol Espargaro will begin his home Grand Prix from 11th on the grid after a tightly contested qualifying battle at Catalunya in which the top 16 riders were covered by a second. The young Spaniard commenced the day with a notable ride to 5th in the morning practice and when the all important qualifying session began in the afternoon, he leapt into action as he gunned for a top starting position in front of his home crowd. On his 6th lap he posted a time of 1’41.385 he attempted to improve further on the next lap, yet he unfortunately fell at the first corner. Nevertheless, Espargaro’s time was three tenths of a second quicker than his qualifying time from last year and when the lights go out tomorrow he will intend to climb through the pack to join the battle for the leading satellite bike position.

Bradley Smith
Postion : 8th Time : 1'41.068  Laps : 7

Bradley Smith - 2015"I’m happy with my qualifying position after the tricky weekend we have had so far. We have tried a lot of different solutions to solve the issues that we had yesterday but the changes that we expected to help, didn’t and the choices that we gambled with were the ones that finally worked. Therefore we found something for the qualifying which also meant that we were able to amend the rear grip issue and so I could set a good lap time. I’m pleased with 8th as I am on the third row, right next to Valentino and in front of Cal which is a solid place to begin the fight from. Furthermore, I am also excited to try the new setting in tomorrow’s warm up as I am keen to see how quick our pace is. For sure, it will be a long and challenging race but I am positive and now we just need to work on putting a good 25 laps together. It’s very easy to make a mistake at this track and we’ve seen a few riders lose the front so we need to study as much data as we can in order to prepare for it. Nevertheless, I am confident and ready for the battle tomorrow where I will be aiming to fight inside the top six again."


Pol Espargaro
Postion : 11th  Time : 1'41.385  Laps : 6

Pol Espargaro - 2015"Today was a day of two stories for me. In this morning’s free practice session I felt fine, I could ride comfortably and the setup of the bike was very positive after the small changes that we made yesterday. However, then our luck changed. The temperature increased quite sharply which caused the grip levels to drop and as a result we could not ride at the pace or rhythm that we wanted to. We need to take a look at the data in order to understand what happened and how we can fix this for the race tomorrow because even though the starting positions is not great, if we don’t fix this issue the race will be very tricky. In addition, we had some more bad luck as we got a defected rear tyre which has happened already before this year. This effectively caused me to lose my first set of laps but I remained out on track as I always tend to think that the second run will be better and there is a good chance of being able to improve. When I went in and changed the tyre, my feeling on the bike improved a lot and I scored my best time but I still lacked a bit of confidence after the first few laps. Then I pushed a bit too hard because the session was drawing to a close, hit a bump and crashed. This was a real shame as I could have cut another two or three tenths of a second and clinched a start on the row in front. However, this grid position means that I need to undertake a strong start and then battle from there. We will fight and do our best but it will be a challenging race."




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