Monster Yamaha Tech3 team riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith pushed on and continued their preseason work in the penultimate day of testing in Qatar. The pair carried on refining their Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes in preparation for the all important 2016 season opener, where they aim to battle for the leading satellite position.

Pol Espargaro stepped his efforts up today and produced a lap that was over half a second quicker than his personal best from yesterday, whilst the overall top time was not lowered significantly. This was despite suffering with a crash at turn 15 that fortunately did not injure him, yet his progress today leaves him confident of advancing further tomorrow. Meanwhile, Bradley Smith wisely decided to preserve his tyres for the final session, where he will attack at full speed. His time of 1’56.517 from yesterday leaves him in 14th in the combined standings and tomorrow he aims to close his preseason campaign strongly.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 11th - Time : 1'56.173 - Laps : 73

Pol Espargaro - 2016"We are improving step by step every day, but the main thing is, I’m ok after the crash. It was a front-end crash like we had at Phillip Island and we were testing a new, different compound. It was an option to try, but maybe I pushed too hard. However, we can say that it’s not the compound that we like the most or one that we want to use at the race weekend here. I felt that we had chatter and movement, like some other riders. Yet, the other tyre is not so bad. I did 26 laps with it, which is more than a race distance and the rhythm was consistent plus, I felt comfortable. Apart from that, everything is ok and we worked on my lines, the rhythm and with the electronics. Every time we run, we learn a bit more about the electronics and we are trying new things all the time. In addition, we focused on the tyres quite a lot but we still need to get more rear grip. At first, I thought the dirty track may have been behind the lack of grip, but that’s not the case, so we need to improve in this area, which will be our main target for tomorrow and we may run a race simulation as well. Yet, as a whole, we are improving and moving forward."


Bradley Smith

Position : 14th - Time : 1'56.517 - Laps : 52

Bradley Smith - 2016"It goes without saying that today has been a little bit frustrating. We found ourselves in a position where we don’t have a lot of tyres available to us that work with my riding style and my bike. At the start of the session, we began with used tyres from yesterday just to see their character after having been heated up twice and I have to admit that I felt quite comfortable, but this was our first run. Later on the second stint, I wanted to try some new tyres so we put a slightly harder compound on with a new rear. In all honesty, I found it really tricky to ride close to a solid lap time. So, after pitting and assessing the situation as well as listening to other riders’ feedback, I decided that the best thing to do was to save our good tyres for tomorrow and put our efforts in then. The plan is to do around 60 laps and we’ll have to focus all of our energy into getting the maximum from the final session. Anyway, the general feeling that I had with the bike in the first run was positive, so we’re not far away from where we want to be. After some work tomorrow and hopefully a race simulation, we’ll be ready for the first GP of the year.”





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