Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro matched the sunshine to begin the 13th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship brightly with a firm finish of 6th on day one at Misano. The 24 year old got straight to work in FP1 under perfect weather conditions at the recently resurfaced 4.2 kilometre Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as he took the first steps in adjusting the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1. The Spaniard showed his determination as he relentlessly completed a total of 24 laps in the morning session, which was more than any other MotoGP rider and set a best time of 1'34.094 on his 18th lap. When the afternoon practice got underway, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion continued his efforts as he fully intends to further his positive streak in the last few MotoGP weekends. He pushed onwards in the session before speeding to a best lap of 1'33.552 at the end of the practice and this time was less than three tenths from third position. Tomorrow, he will seek to utilise the strong start and then build on it in order to confidently battle his way to a top qualifying position in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith leapt into action on the opening day at Misano and began his San Marino Grand Prix challenge with a solid performance to seize 8th as he looks to fight to another top six result this weekend. When the morning session began, the British rider wasted no time in analysing the resurfaced track as he made the initial adjustments to his MotoGP bike in preparation for Sunday's race. The Briton dug deep and after completing 18 laps, his best was 1'34.266 which left him in 8th and fully primed for the afternoon session. After undertaking continuous progress throughout FP2 with the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1, Smith ultimately shot across the finish line with a best lap of 1'33.595 that saw him complete the day in 8th, plus, his performance was just a blink of an eye behind his teammate by a mere 0.042 of a second. With today ending positively for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider, he now focuses on extending his recent notable record tomorrow, as he has qualified no lower than 6th in the last three races.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 6th

Time : 1'33.552 Laps : 46

Pol Espargaro - 2015"Today was a positive opening to our Misano account. I felt good when I jumped on my M1 and went out on track so we have been competitive as soon as the wheels turned today. We still had to face a few issues but we were able to get around these and with the setup up that we had on the second bike, we found a solution. Nevertheless, we can see that with the lap times improving, there are some areas that we will need to adjust and enhance for qualifying. At the moment I have one bike that works well in certain areas and the other one is great for the remaining aspects so all we need to do now is find the perfect mix between the two in order to be able to have a strong performance tomorrow. I definitely want to give my compliments to the Misano World Circuit for the new surface because there is an obvious improvement and itÕs a pleasure to ride on. ”


Bradley Smith
Position : 8th Time : 1'33.595 Laps : 46

Bradley Smith - 2015

“It was a good start overall today here in Misano and there are plenty of positives to think about tonight. One of the main plus points is that the Yamaha YZR-M1's are strong here even though we were the only manufacturer who missed the test here earlier this year. I must admit that I was a bit nervous about this, but having said that, after the performances from Vale and Jorge last year we knew that our bike would be competitive. Today we tried all three front tyre options and both of the rear compounds and now we have a clear indication of which direction we want to head towards for the rest of this weekend. The front of the bike is the most critical area at this track due to the nature of the circuit and the hard braking, therefore the front compound choice will be vital for the race. In addition, we need to continue our work as there is a compromise to be made between braking stability and turning of the bike. Yet overall, the new surface is an improvement and not quite the step up that everyone was talking about but for sure it's a lot better for performance and for the safety of riders, which is the most important point. For tomorrow, I hope to continue this positive form and clinch a top grid position for the race on Sunday.”




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