Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro produced a resolute effort on the first day of practice at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix and battled to 13th overall. When the opening 45 minute morning session commenced, Espargaro threw his leg over his Yamaha YZR-M1 as he aimed to complete the first run at Sepang solidly. With a positive test having been achieved before the dawn of the season, the Spaniard started by experimenting with various aspects of the bike in order to make it more competitive in low grip conditions. He concluded a total of 18 laps around the circuit whilst testing the key areas in the opening shakedown and finished in 13th, yet he looked set to make a step up in the afternoon. Here, his hard work continued with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team as he tirelessly pushed onwards and he completed free practice 2 with a best time of 2’01.850 which he set on his last lap. This time was an improvement of 0.409 from his opening gambit and the Spaniard now aims to progress with his efforts tomorrow in FP3 ahead of the all important qualifying campaign.

On the opposite side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith started his Malaysian campaign with a firm display at the penultimate round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship as he ended the opening day in 14th overall. When the fight commenced, Smith leapt onto his Yamaha YZR-M1 and he began to alter the base setup of his MotoGP bike to suit the challenging 5.5 kilometre circuit. The British rider finished the practice in 15th, yet he remained confident of improving in the afternoon. There, he launched straight back into his groove as he aimed to lower his lap time and make advances in preparation for Sunday’s main event. During the practice, Smith completed 19 laps, the highest number of any MotoGP rider and his personal best time of 2’02.101 which he set on his 7th lap, left him in 14th in the combined standings. After a challenging day, the 24 year old now sets his sights on seeing out his qualifying campaign with a strong performance tomorrow ahead of the 17th round battle on Sunday.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 13th

Time : 2'01.850 Laps : 34

Pol Espargaro - 2015“For sure, we didn't start the weekend in the way that we wanted to, but it goes without saying that today was the best time to try different settings. We already knew that the opening day is not usually our strongest point during an event as we struggle a lot with the lower grip level. Therefore, we decided to invest some time and alter several aspects of the bike in order to improve, particularly in these kind of conditions. So, we collected a lot of information today and we will now analyse which direction we need to head towards. Anyway, we are confident that, just like in Phillip Island, the situation will improve as soon as the track gets a bit more grip and then, we will be able to reduce the gap to the front guys. So now we'll work hard in order to be ready to bounce back strongly during tomorrow's practice sessions."


Bradley Smith
Position : 14th Time : 2'02.101 Laps : 37

Bradley Smith - 2015

“It’s good to be back at Sepang which is a track that I enjoy riding at, but I must admit that today was quite a struggle and to be completely honest, we have some work to do. As soon as I started this morning, my confidence and feeling wasn’t quite the same as usual with the bike and it’s difficult to understand why after the positive test that we had here in February. At the moment, we are unfortunately stuck inside the 2’02 bracket, which of course, is not where we want or need to be. However, a positive is that we are not just struggling with one specific factor but we need to improve the bike as a whole which means it is easier to find some solutions. Anyway, towards the end of the second free practice session, we were able to improve slightly, yet there is plenty of work to do tomorrow still. Overall, we tried a lot of different settings today in order to identify which direction to head towards and now we will have an in depth look at the data and then see what we can do. It was a tricky start today, but for sure, tomorrow we will be stronger.”





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