Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro started the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky in a positive light after finishing the opening day of practice in 7th place overall in the combined standings. The Spaniard concluded the opening session in 12th position after beginning to alter his Yamaha YZR-M1 for the undulating hills of Brno. After lapping the circuit 16 times, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion posted a lap of 1’58.195 as he looked optimistically onwards to the afternoon practice. When it began, Espargaro jumped straight back into gear and continued his work in preparation for Sunday’s race as he made steps forward with the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1 by the close of FP2. He finished with a best lap of 1’57.078, which was set on his final run and his performance left him less than a hairs breadth back from Valentino Rossi who was in 4th, by only 0.004. This equalled 5th in the afternoon and 7th overall at the close of day one. Tomorrow, the Spaniard will seek to produce a notable showing in qualifying in order to clinch a top tier grid position.

Meanwhile, on the opposite of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith finished the opening day of action in the Czech Republic in 8th place overall after a solid effort today aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. The 24 year old British rider kicked off proceedings by beginning to set up his bike for Sunday, in FP1, before concluding the session with a best lap of 1’57.137, landing him in 7th. In the afternoon, Smith continued his work with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team under the blazing sun and completed a total of 16 laps around the 5.4 kilometre Automotodrom Brno. He set a best time of 1’57.494, yet his lap from the morning practice was the faster of the two sessions and saw him seize 8th overall. Tomorrow, he will intend to progress further with his setup work and then land his MotoGP bike in a positive qualifying position at the 11th round of the 2015 World Championship.

Pol Espargaro
Position : 7th Time : 1'57.078 Laps : 32

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "Overall it has been a positive but challenging first day. This morning we were struggling in different areas, so my confidence wasn’t at its highest. Yet, we able to find the right direction to work towards and fortunately the modifications we made for the afternoon session, made me feel much more comfortable on the bike. This was truly positive as the conditions were much warmer in the afternoon and it should be very similar in Sunday’s race which also helps to boost my confidence. In free practice 2, the soft rear tyre was working really well and I could actually ride the bike in the way that I wanted to and I enjoyed it too. Therefore my rhythm along with my fastest lap time improved significantly. So after a tricky start to the weekend I can now optimistically look tomorrow’s FP3 session"


Bradley Smith
Position : 8th Time : 1'57.137 Laps : 34

Bradley Smith - 2015 "It was a good opening to the weekend and there are many positives to take from today. As soon as we hit the track this morning in FP1, I felt really comfortable with the bike, which set me up confidently for the afternoon. Yet, FP2 was a bit more complicated as it was a trickier for everyone due to the hot weather conditions and the track temperature. We were able to try both compounds of rear and front tyres in order to have all the necessary information available to analyse. Still, I’m a bit disappointed with the crash this afternoon, although it seems like a lot of guys made the same mistake because it has been quite difficult to find the right compromise in the balance between the hard and soft tyres. Therefore we need to try and understand what the issue was and fix it tomorrow because we expect Sunday’s weather to be similar to what we experienced today. So overall, it was a good start even with the small crash and in addition, I didn’t set a single lap time with the soft tyre at the end, but I still finished inside the top ten. As a result, I have to be happy and I’m ready to improve tomorrow"




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