Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro concluded the first day of action at the season finale in a positive manner by finishing in 8th position overall. The young Spaniard kicked off the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana event at the 4.0 kilometre Ricardo Tormo Circuit with a strong run to 6th in the morning shake down session. When the practice started, he got onto his Yamaha YZR-M1 as he began making the initial alterations to the setup of his bike for the highly anticipated race on Sunday, despite still suffering with his neck injury. After completing a total of 20 laps, his best time of 1’31.892 left him only three tenths back from third and confident of a strong performance later in the day. Espargaro’s solid run continued when the second free practice session got underway and he carried on undertaking the setup changes with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. By the time the chequered flag fell, the 2014 rookie of the year had powered to a quick time of 1’31.674 which saw him just half a second from the top of the field. The Spaniard now focuses on the all important qualifying practice tomorrow, where he will intend to clinch a competitive grid position for final race meeting of 2015, in front of his passionate home crowd.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith endured a challenging opening day, at the last round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, which he concluded in 15th overall despite a thorough effort. The 24 year old began proceedings by launching into the setup work for his Yamaha YZR-M1 to suit the Ricardo Tormo circuit. He plugged away throughout the practice as the sun shone brightly overhead and completed a total of 21 laps before finishing the first session of track action in 17th. In free practice 2, the English rider pushed onwards as he sought to set himself up for the season finale on Sunday and focused on creating a strong setup which meant that he completed over a full race distance on the same rear tyre. Nevertheless, on his penultimate lap out of 22, Smith rode a 1’32.508 which put him in 15th position in the session as well as overall. However, he remains fully confident of battling to a solid grid position tomorrow and then completing his third season in the premier class in the top satellite position in the world championship standings.

   
Pol Espargaro

Position : 8th

Time : 1'31.674 Laps :37

Pol Espargaro - 2015"It has been a very positive first day and I am pleased because it has been quite a long time since we had such a strong start to the weekend. I was able to ride my time fairly easily and the tyres are working really well here, especially the rear which has a lot of grip. This is certainly also thanks to the high grip level of this circuit, which I like riding at and that I know very well. Therefore, I enjoyed being on my Yamaha today and to see the lap times being strong straight away is a really good feeling after this tough season. Now we will see how the weekend unfolds with the changing grip levels and the weather conditions, but we will do our best and try to continue this positive momentum until Sunday's race."

Profil 

   
Bradley Smith
Position : 15th Time : 1'32.508 Laps : 43

Bradley Smith - 2015

"Today was not great in terms of the end result, but I am fully confident that we can progress more tomorrow and get back to where we should be. Throughout the day, we improved gradually and made some small steps forward but we wanted to be as ready for possible for the GP and so we did a lot of laps on the rear tyre in order to get a good race setup. Anyway, we started to find a good direction in FP2 and I am sure that we will be much more competitive with new tyres when we get going again tomorrow. The main area where we have to improve is sector four which is the part of the track that I am struggling with and which also prevented me from setting a stronger lap time. Yet, I’m convinced that the team will work hard tonight and we will surely be back inside the top ten tomorrow morning.”

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