Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro leapt back on their Yamaha YZR-M1’s and continued their pre season workout at the second day in Australia despite the weather interfering once again. Eventually, the sun broke through in the afternoon, which allowed the Tech3 pair to get back up to speed whilst setting competitive lap times.
Bradley Smith built on his result of 3rd place yesterday and lapped tirelessly as he carried on his preparation work with testing setup options and Michelin tyres. The young Briton clocked his personal best lap time on his final run, which saw him just half a second from the Yamaha Factory rider Valentino Rossi. On the other hand, Pol Espargaro consistently improved his pace once the track conditions had stabilised, whilst collecting valuable setup data, and his personal best left him only two tenths of a second behind his teammate.
Position : 10thTime : 1'29.992Laps : 75
"It was a long and thorough testing programme today, but I feel we did what we had to and we achieved a lot. There were a few things that I wanted to follow up from Sepang and I’m pleased to say that the outcome is positive and they seem to work here. Therefore, heading in that direction with the bike setup will be key for us. We focused on the front end setting as well in order to make the bike more stable in high speed corners. Phillip Island has a lot of fast corners and we tried to find a bit more safety and balance so I could commit further and ride a quicker lap time. Michelin brought two different spec front tyres which the factory guys already tested in Malaysia and I finally assessed these. To be honest, I definitely felt that they allowed me to cut my lap time. Yet unfortunately there aren’t many of those tyres available here, therefore I don’t think there will be many to use tomorrow. Still, it was useful to sample them in order to confirm our direction and we will have more of those tyres in Qatar. It was a shame that some of the track time was cut due to the red flag and the rain in the morning because I was hoping to run a race simulation. These are vital to our testing programme because it allows us to be clear about my feeling with the bike at the end of a GP. Of course, the Yamaha handles differently as the race distance progresses so by testing this factor here, we gain experience and knowledge, which we can use when the season kicks off. However, I’m happy with what we achieved, even though I think 17:45 came around too quickly! Lets see what happens with the weather tomorrow and we’ll continue to try and progress a bit more with the front end setting.”
Position : 13th - Time : 1'30.154 - Laps : 65
"Overall, I believe that today has been positive for us and even though the result is not at the top of the timesheet, our rhythm with the bike is encouraging . We are much closer to the front than we were in Sepang and in addition, my feeling with the bike has improved significantly, so we’ve taken a big step forward. I was able to repeat my fastest time on numerous occasions and on different runs, which is definitely promising and it shows that we are heading in the right direction. The only thing missing from today is that we weren’t able to post a single lap time as it would have been nice to find ourselves a bit higher up in the standings. It was completely our fault because for different reasons we were unable to improve at the end. Still, this wasn’t the main aim of today’s testing schedule, so the overall feeling is really positive and I can leave the track satisfied and with a lot of confidence for tomorrow."