Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro rode a competitive race in front of approximately 51,000 fans today in Argentina to clinch a strong result in round 2 of the 2016 World Championship. The Grand Prix, which was shortened to 20 laps in order to ensure the safety of all riders, included a mandatory bike change at the midpoint and it turned out to be an eventful race for Espargaro. The 25 year old Spaniard leapt into action from 10th and closed the first lap in his grid position but quickly set into his pace and started his campaign. By lap six he moved up one place before pitting at half distance. Once he re-joined the track, he carried on his climb up through the field and fought with Hector Barbera as the race progressed. Espargaro moved clear, yet on the final lap, after a hard battle he ran off the track and ended the fight in 6th.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Bradley Smith persevered in the challenging Grand Prix and met the chequered flag two places behind his teammate. The Briton started from the fourth row, yet he was unlucky to run wide on the opening lap, to avoid contact with another rider, which caused him to drop to the back of the field. Nevertheless, he mounted his recovery charge and by lap eight he had overtaken six riders, before pitting half way through the event. Once back on the track, he maintained his rhythm and claimed 11th with a quarter of distance left to run. Smith continued his climb before powering across the line in 8th. This result marks his 26th consistent point scoring result, plus puts him in 6th in the longest successive point finishers in the premier-class.


Pol Espargaro

Position : 6th - Championship : 6th - Points : 19

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"The race today has been very difficult and in all honesty, I'm quite disappointed. Fighting with Barbera and Laverty is definitely not where we want to be, but at the moment we are unable to stay close to the Ducati riders. We are slower on the straight and we can't brake late enough into the corners because of the front tyre. In addition, in the last lap Barbera broke incredibly late in turn 5 so to avoid a contact with him I had to run off track and as a result Laverty passed both of us. This is a real pity, because even if our race wasn’t great, we could still have scored an important result and finish as first independent bike. Yet, like this we leave Argentina with just a sixth position. Therefore we have to work a lot in the following days in order to be more competitive in Austin next weekend. However, the result isn't too bad for the championship, so we have to take today's finish as a damage limitation."

Profil 


Bradley Smith

Position : 8th - Championship : 9th - Points : 16

Bradley Smith - 2016


"It was a very challenging race, but to score points is satisfying and the 8th position gives me more determination to finish in a better place next time. Today was tricky with the flag to flag and also with the conditions after the rain made things difficult this morning. Plus, there was a lot of dirt on the track and still some wet patches, so it goes without saying that it was tricky. When the Grand Prix started, I was a bit unlucky in the first corner and then again in turn three where I lost numerous positions because I wasn’t able to put myself in the right place. As a team, we made a big mistake because we chose a setting which we had never tried before and it really didn’t work. It was the same on both bikes and I really struggled to get any kind of feeling. I just kept telling myself that I only needed to get to the chequered flag, regardless of the position. Fortunately for us that meant 8th place which is the same as in Qatar, so we can’t be too disappointed. Still, there is a bittersweet taste in my mouth as the first satellite bike finished in fourth position and I’m sure that we could have done much better especially in these conditions. Yet, we finished and now we can go to Texas with a lot of useful information from what was a challenging weekend here and I’m sure there we will be able to put the Yamaha back to where it needs to be.”

Profil 


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :


“Regarding the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team, we have to be happy because we had to cope with a lot of difficult matters such as the weather, the dirty track and with this being the first time for the tyre manufacturers at this track. Even though we may have gained a few positions due to other riders failing to finish, we have to be proud of what Pol and Bradley did. Their results give us third position in the team championship which is fantastic. They tried hard from the word go and managed to bring some solid points home. It was a bit of a pity for Pol because he was holding fourth until the final lap, and there Barbera was a bit aggressive with him and they both ran wide which cost us two positions. The team did a great job as bike one and two were close to each other in terms of performance and finally, the guys managed to reach the chequered flag with two top finishes which is a good achievement in such tricky race conditions. So now we can leave here with a positive frame of mind. Next we head to Austin where we will be aiming for another double top eight finish and hopefully we can claim the first independent team position back which is what we should have got here.”

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro will charge from 10th on the grid after pulling off a resolute qualifying campaign at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. The 25 year old started his day by just missing out on QP2 by 0.070, yet, he remained fully focused and leapt into gear when qualifying one began. Here, he confidently posted a best lap which clinched 2nd and saw him safely through to the proceeding shootout. When QP2 began, the Spaniard surged forward and after gathering pace, he eventually scored a time that left him only 0.382 from the second row.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith will commence the second round of the 2016 World Championship two places behind his teammate after producing a determined effort in Argentina. The young Briton kicked off today by finishing FP3 in 13th, yet he forcefully topped the time sheets in Q1 with a time of 1'40.552 that allowed him to graduate straight through to the second practice. Here, Smith pushed onwards and set his personal best on the third lap, but his hopes of cutting this time further were halted when he fell at turn 1, in the final minutes of the session. However, the British star aims to undertake a rocket start tomorrow and join the battle for the top independent bike position in what will be a challenging race in the 25 lap Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina.


Pol Espargaro

Position : 10th - Time : 1'40.654 - Laps : 8

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"Today I can’t be too pleased with the final result because we were aiming to qualify higher up the field, but at the end of the day, 10th is not bad when you consider how challenging the track was. Of course, if I set a lap time that was only one tenth quicker, I could have been on the row in front, which was my target, but a lot of riders crashed and the important thing for me is that I did not. It would have been very risky, so now we will have to make the most of it and move forward in the race tomorrow. For sure, many things will change; the grip as well as the temperature and 25 laps is a long time, therefore we will see what happens. However, we still have some more work to do and we will use the warm up to retest a few factors and then make a decision about the tyres. In any case, my aim remains to fight in and hopefully win the top independent bike battle."

Profil 


Bradley Smith

Position : 12th - Time : 1'40.893 - Laps : 5


"Bradley Smith - 2016All in all, it was a bit of a disappointing QP2 after the successful session that we had before. The team found a few small changes at the end of FP4 which we used in qualifying and which helped us to make a good step. I did a really good job in QP1, so I was confident for the later practice, but I didn’t get to take advantage of the hard rear tyre in the final part. This was due to the fact that I locked the front going into turn one. It’s not anyone’s fault but I was just trying to push a bit too hard and I lost the front. It’s a big shame because if we look at the ideal lap times from both qualifying sessions, it’s clear to see that we could have been on the third row, which would have made everything easier for the race. However, it didn’t happen so we must ensure that we get a good start. The GP will be long and the tyres will play a critical part, but above all, I must not make any mistakes and find a good rhyme to feel comfortable with as I want to finish strongly.”

Profil 

 

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith began his campaign at the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina by taking the first solid steps forward on the opening day of action. After wrapping up the FP1 shakedown in 9th, the British rider continued his push in the afternoon, before setting a lap time that left him just 0.220 from fourth. He now looks on to tomorrow’s all-important qualifying, fully confident of clinching a top tier grid position.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro fought the challenging Termas de Rio Hondo circuit as he started setting up his Yamaha YZR-M1 for the 25 lap sprint. After gathering data and building speed, the young Spaniard set off in Free Practice 2, determined to close the day with a solid finish. His final time was eventually less than two tenths of a second from his teammate, yet his hopes of cutting the gap further were thwarted when he fell at the first corner in the final moments of the session. Nevertheless, the 25 year old optimistically awaits the qualifying shootout tomorrow.


Bradley Smith

Position : 9th - Time : 1'42.595 - Laps : 34

Bradley Smith - 2016


"On the whole, the first day in Argentina has been quite positive. I feel that we made some good progress and now have a solid platform to move forward from. We had to face a lot of different conditions because the temperature and the grip changed considerably, so we needed to be attentive to these. In the morning, the circuit was dirty, so we used the session to clean up the track a bit and also learn how the tyres perform here. Then, in the afternoon it was much hotter and the track surface had warmed up by almost as much as 20 degrees. As a result, we were able to study the medium and hard tyre compounds. In the end, I was pleased with my final run and with being able to undertake a 1’42.5 lap time which meant that I finished inside the top ten. For tomorrow, we need to continue learning and assessing in order to get the hard tyres to work in the optimum way.”

Profil


Pol Espargaro

Position : 13th - Time : 1'42.774 - Laps : 34

Pol Espargaro - 2016


"In all honesty, the day has not been bad as it seems to be, yet for sure, it’s no reference point for the weekend as the times are a long way off last year’s performances. At the moment we are struggling to run 1’42’s and in 2015 the fastest lap in FP1 was 1’40.8. That is a clear indication of how dirty the surface is and all we can do is continue to ride on it in order to improve the grip level. Currently, it’s the Moto2 class on track and tomorrow morning there will be one more Moto3 session, so by the time we go out again, things might have improved. Still it’s a real pity about my two crashes today, we know exactly what went wrong and as soon as you are a little bit off line with these conditions, you can’t save the bike. For tomorrow, I hope that the weather changes slightly because some clouds would definitely help us because at the moment, the track temperature is pretty much the same as during the preseason tests in Sepang."

Profil

 

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