Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro successfully wrapped up his final appearance on track for the year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit today with a run to 8th position. The Spaniard partially sampled his new Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike for the 2016 season and continued his work with the Michelin tyres in order to start collecting valuable information for next year. Espargaro’s best time of 1’31.619, which he set on his penultimate lap, saw him close the test in 9th place in the combined standings, which a gap of just over half a second to the time at the top of the field.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith began his in-depth and methodical work with his new MotoGP bike for the forthcoming year whilst also continuing to the test the Michelin tyres. The Briton rode relentlessly and eventually completed more laps around the circuit than any other MotoGP rider today, outlining his intent to understand his new Yamaha YZR-M1 as well as the tyres fully. He set a personal best time of 1’31.694 which was only 0.075 from his teammate and now the 24 year old rider confidently awaits the next outing at the three day Sepang Test in February.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 9th

Time : 1'31.619 Laps : 51

Pol Espargaro - 2015"Overall, I am quite satisfied with what we achieved in the test, although, of course, there are many factors to improve in the future as it was just the first time on the new bike with the new tyres. The day didn’t start perfectly as I fell in the morning which made me lose a bit of time, but the team repaired the bike quickly. Then, together with the Michelin guys, we started to work on getting a better feeling in the front and achieved our goal. I was able to set a solid lap time and although it wasn’t incredible, I’m very pleased as the rhythm was good and we must remember that it was only the first two days of pre season testing so we can be satisfied with our performance. There are a lot of things that can change in the future, plus I need to adapt my riding style more to suit to the Michelin tyres. Also, I think that the riders who were using softer tyres this season, have a slight advantage at the moment as they are used to a higher level of rear grip compared to us and that’s definitely a characteristic of Michelin tyres. However, altogether I’m satisfied with how this test went, but we need to bear in mind that all tracks are different and Sepang is very dissimilar when compared to Valencia, so we will see how things go in February. Nevertheless, I am already looking forward to getting back on the my Yamaha after the winter break.”

Profil 

Bradley Smith
Position : 10th Time : 1'31.694 Laps : 71

Bradley Smith - 2015

"We can be pleased with what we have achieved and it was a big day where I completed 71 laps as we focused on my new bike for 2016. The team and I needed to understand what sort of Yamaha we will ride next year, which in all honesty, was a big task as we had to go through everything thoroughly. This wasn’t necessarily to make things better instantly, but it was for knowledge which will help to prevent any potential issues in the future. After last year, we know how vital this is and hence, this is why I rode so many laps. In the end, we ran out of soft rear tyres so I had to use the hard compound, but I was still able to improve my time from yesterday even though the conditions were a bit tricky in the last hour here. In addition, we should only compare my lap time to the other satellite riders as we had just two front and rear compounds available, while the factory guys had more options to try. Altogether, I’m satisfied as it has been a positive day and we now have a very good understanding of the bike as well as a solid base to start 2016 with. It’s time to pack away my M1 for the winter break and I look forward to seeing it again in February!”

Profil 

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro launched into his testing programme today during the first day of track action after the Valencia GP as the 2016 season preparations got underway. The young Spanish rider focused on sampling the new Michelin tyres and then set about exploring setup options on his MotoGP bike. At the close of the day, his best time was just under three-tenths from third and left him in 7th as he now confidently looks forward to riding his updated 2015 Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time tomorrow in the final day of track action this year.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith continued the positive momentum from his impressive 2015 season where he finished 6th in the standings as he started to get to grips with the new Michelin tyres. Similarly to this teammate, the Briton took steps forward in modifying the base setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1 to suit the French tyre manufacturer. The 24 year old rider’s best time was just 0.060 back from his teammate and left him in 8th. He now aims to make further advances tomorrow after a tireless effort today.

   
Pol Espargaro

Position : 7th

Time : 1'37.937 Laps : 40

Pol Espargaro - 2015"All in all it has been quite a positive first day as the lap times of the whole field were competitive compared to this weekend’s times. Yet, there were a lot of crashes as we are all trying to adapt and we can’t expect everything to be perfect as soon as we start. However, I’m happy that we have another day of testing as we need to progress and try more options so that I will have a better feeling before we head into the winter break. I know that Michelin are working hard to improve the front tyre, which is the main issue at the moment, but I must also say that the rear compound is already really good. We have my new bike for 2016, which is the Factory Yamaha’s bike from this season that I will finally ride tomorrow and therefore, I’m fired up to close the test in a positive manner.”

Profil 

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 8th Time : 1'37.997 Laps : 67

Bradley Smith - 2015

"Day one has been completed here in Valencia and I feel that we had a really productive time. It goes without saying that for everyone today, the circumstances were new as we were all using Michelin tyres. Yet, from the information that we already had from Malaysia and Aragon, we were in a better situation to start from. I began this morning with this year’s bike and we worked to find a base setting in order to try and explore the potential of the tyres as much as possible. For my final run, we sampled my 2016 bike which we will really start to work with tomorrow in order to understand it’s capabilities as five laps was just a small appetiser of what is to come. It’s very early stages but we can already see that we have a bike for next year with more potential as I ran similar lap times on both versions. I am confident in saying that we are heading in the right direction and we have a clear development plan that we want to continue to test. So, I am happy with the work from myself and also from the team and I look forward to getting back on track tomorrow.”

Profil 

   

 

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro stormed to 5th today to close the year strongly in front of his home crowd of over 110,000 people at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. The young Spaniard commenced his battle from the third row and completed the first lap in 8th, whilst attempting to jump past the riders in front. He set into his fierce race pace and after setting a series of consistent lap times, he was up to 6th by the mid point of the event. Afterwards he eventually soared across the finish line in 5th to clinch the leading satellite honours at the last round of the 2015 MotoGP season thus completing a positive weekend. The solid result today saw Espargaro overtake Danilo Petrucci n in the championship standings and finish his second year in the premier class in 9th position.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith fought determinedly to conclude the 30 lap sprint right behind his teammate at the Ricardo Tormo circuit today. The young Briton began the GP from the rear of the second row on the grid and bolted forward when the lights went out before quickly locking into his formidable race rhythm. He then started his ascent, before brilliantly diving past Andrea Dovizioso, his championship rival, on lap 26. The fight continued and Smith carried on his pace as he diced right until the chequered flag but finished ahead and sealed 6th as well as the leading satellite rider position in the World Championship standings.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 5th

Championship : 9th Points : 114

Pol Espargaro - 2015 "Finally, I am pleased with the result and I’m happy to end the season like this. It was a good GP and I completed the race just behind the factory riders so we can’t complain, plus it’s a really positive feeling to close the year in this way. We had to face some difficulties during the season but we worked hard and it seems that we found a solution for some of them here. I was struggling a bit with the front tyre when running on full fuel load. However, in the race, as soon as the fuel level decreased and the laps passed by, I found my rhythm and in the end, I managed to overtake Dovizioso even though the Ducati is a beast on the straight! I passed him a few times and initially it seemed that I couldn’t open a gap, but I was finally able to post a series of rapid lap times which enabled me to escape and then ride comfortably until the end of the GP. It has been a tough year and probably one of the most disappointing ones in the World Championship for me. We weren’t able to make the most out of all of the races and it goes without saying that it was quite frustrating at times. Yet, the team has always been behind me and has given me a lot of support. We have a good feeling internally which we kept even during the difficult times and this is the most important thing. Of course, we may have had a few disagreements, but this is what happens when you want to grow and improve. So I must say thanks to them for always supporting me, and now, we will try to advance next year. I hope all of the bad luck that we had this season won’t repeat itself in 2016 and I am sure we can have a strong year together.”

Profil  

Bradley Smith
Position : 6th Championship : 6th Points : 181

Bradley Smith - 2015

"It has been a fantastic season and almost perfect after completing all of the 18 rounds, even though I’m a bit disappointed to miss out on our target of finishing as the leading satellite rider today. However, I can’t be hard on myself as I ended up in the top six and I collected a total of 181 points over the year. I am very proud of this, but I am especially pleased with my performance in the second half of the season. In all honesty, after the summer break I think I made another step forward with my qualifying as well as some of my race performances. Anyway, this track wasn’t easy for me and we struggled a bit all weekend, but to be there fighting in the second group was satisfying. We have to look back on all of the ups and downs of the year and then improve on the negatives because we have to do a better job next season. In this sport, you can’t just stay at the same level, so we need to see how we can make another step forward. 2016 will be a new challenge and experience, but I’m already very excited to begin on Tuesday at the test. I’m also looking forward to a bit of a rest as it’s been a demanding year with all of the work that we’ve been doing for MotoGP, plus the Suzuka 8 Hours as well. I want to give a big thanks to all of the team who did a fantastic job. Although I didn’t make any mistakes, they didn’t either with their jobs and to make a Yamaha YZR-M1 work for 18 races without any issues, highlights the great job they have done. I am proud of everyone at Tech3 and thank you to all. In addition, I also want to say thanks to Bridgestone for all of their support and it has been fantastic for me to work with them for the past three years. They have done a tremendous job and for every season that I have been in MotoGP, they have upped their performance continuously, especially this year. It would have been easy to just roll out and enjoy the season, but they came with even better material and they’ve set the level very high in MotoGP."

Profil  

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

“What an incredible day to close an amazing year of racing in MotoGP. It was really intense all race long whilst we were watching our two guys, who both did an excellent job. Yet, I also cannot hide the fact that we were checking out what was happening at the front so I must give big congratulations to Yamaha again as well as Jorge. Regarding our guys, it was a strong weekend overall and a positive finish for both of them. The start was average but they never gave up and pushed all the way until the chequered flag. In addition, it was quite interesting to see them fighting with the Suzuki and Ducati riders. Ducati have an incredible engine whilst Suzuki have a good chassis, but out of all the three, I think we had the strongest and most efficient package. It’s super to have our two guys in the top six at the last round, plus Pol moved up one place in the championship after taking one point out of Petrucci. Furthermore, his result helped us to secure 4th in the team standings. On the other side of the garage, Bradley did really well today as he has done all year, so I must congratulate him. He is the only rider other than Valentino who has scored points at every event in 2015 with his worst result being 8th, which highlights the fantastic job that he has done. I’m really pleased to see Pol end on a positive note as it was very important for him to get a strong finish to the season. This will help us to go to the test on Tuesday with an even more positive frame of mind and overall, we are a happy team so we will celebrate tonight.”

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