Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith undertook a solid start to proceedings at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and completed today in 8th  position as he took the initial steps in preparing for the 27 lap race on Sunday. The day kicked off with mixed weather conditions at the spectacular Phillip Island circuit as strong winds blew and small spots of rain fell throughout the session. Despite this, Bradley Smith powered through and started adjusting the setting of his Yamaha YZR-M1 at the circuit where he claimed his maiden MotoGP podium last season. By the close of FP1, he had posted a best time of 1’30.902 which left him in 7th. In the afternoon, the weather conditions improved and Smith got straight back to work as he looked to lower his lap time. The 24 year old progressed as he made consistent steps forward before finally speeding to a best time of 1’30.032 on his final lap out of 20, which saw him close the day in 8th overall. His performance was only six tenths of a second back from the top time and leaves the Briton confident of repeating his strong qualifying position from last year where he began the race from the head of the second row.

On the opposite side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Pol Espargaro experienced a challenging first day at the fast Phillip Island circuit and completed the combined sessions in 15th in what was a fiercely contested start to the weekend. The 24 year old rider leapt into action as soon as the opening practice began and he started his work with the team to get the bike ready for the round 16 fight on Sunday. He set his personal best of 1’31.111 on his 10th out of 18 and concluded FP1 in 9th. Then, when the afternoon session commenced, Espargaro continued his efforts as he tried different setup options on his Yamaha YZR-M1 in order to improve corner entry and amend the lack of rear grip he was experiencing. He tirelessly completed 20 laps around the 4.4 kilometre Phillip Island circuit with his best time being a 1’30.552. The end result saw him finish in 15th yet only half a second back from his teammate. The Spanish youngster now focuses on tomorrow where he will aim to fight to a solid grid position in the vital qualifying session.

Bradley Smith
Position : 8th Time : 1'30.032 Laps : 37

Bradley Smith - 2015

“It’s great to be back at this superb circuit and overall, it has been a quite positive opening day of action. First thing is first though, the nature of this track is very fast so this morning was a massive wake up call because when you go into corners like the first and the third, as well as the back straight, it takes your breath away! It’s exciting to ride but it certainly awakens you even more at 10 in the morning! It took me a bit of time to adapt to this, but in the afternoon I got up to speed. We really focused on trying to improve my performance in the last sector of the track in FP2 as I believe that it will be very important to remain consistent in this area in the race. However, we are still struggling there a little bit, but we’ll continue our work on this tomorrow as we aim to find some more stability and grip. In any case, we are not too far from the front, which is positive especially considering that we had a few difficulties, so I’m convinced we’ll have a good base to start from tomorrow. So I look forward to jumping back on the Yamaha again and then clinching a good grid position for Sunday’s race.”


Pol Espargaro

Position : 15th

Time : 1'30.552 Laps : 38

Pol Espargaro - 2015 “Unfortunately, the opening to this race has been anything but easy. After what was a disappointing Japanese GP, we decided to make some changes to the bike and use this Friday as a kind of test day. It goes without saying  that today's weather really didn’t help us to complete our schedule, but in FP2 we were able to at least partly try want we wanted to. There are some positives as I have improved a little bit in some areas such as entering in the corners. However, I still have a lack of grip and that causes a lot of spinning, so it’s a struggle to keep the right line. In addition, I also tried to change my riding style almost every lap in order to try and understand more about how the bike was working. Obviously, the position is a long way from where I want to be, especially at this track which I love and where I have always been fast. Still, I believe that these tests were necessary as well as helpful and besides, I know how to ride fast at Phillip Island. Now we'll analyse today's data in order to try to find something for FP3 so that we can have the best bike possible for the rest of the GP"




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