Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaro embarked on his round three campaign with a run to 13th on the opening day of action in Texas. The Spanish star leapt into gear when FP1 commenced and began setting up his Yamaha YZR-M1 for Sunday’s race. He closed the session in 12th and when the afternoon practice started, he carried on his solid efforts before posting a personal best on his final lap. This time left him just over six tenths from the Factory Yamaha riders and leaves him optimistic of sealing a top grid position tomorrow.
On the opposite side of the pit box, Bradley Smith pushed throughout the day at the Circuit of The Americas as he adjusted the setup of his MotoGP bike to suit the meandering track. After making steps forward in the morning, he got straight back to work in FP2 and progressed by setting a lap time that was 1.019 quicker than his best from the opening session. Now, the Briton is fully focused on bouncing back tomorrow with his sights firmly set on seizing a strong qualifying result.
Position : 13th - Time : 2'05.616 - Laps : 31
"Altogether, the day has been pretty positive even if the gap to the top guys is quite considerable. Yet, fortunately, there is still plenty of time for us to fine tune our setting and I really feel that we started the weekend in the right way. This morning we received our new tyres, which I think will be the ones that we are going to use in the race. In that case, I’m pleased as today we proved once again that we are strong on worn tyres so I’m confident that we will be competitive in the final stages of the GP. Nevertheless, we still need to increase the grip level with the new tyres plus, I believe that we can improve the braking stability of my Yamaha M1 and I feel that we have a margin of progress to make in this area. Yet, I’m happy with what we have done so far on day 1 and I’m already looking forward to getting back on track tomorrow morning where I definitely want to score a top 10 finish in order to qualify directly for QP2."
Position : 19th - Time : 2'06.479 - Laps : 30
"Even though today didn’t go as well as we expected, I am confident about what we should be able to do tomorrow. We knew that we had to undertake a serious change with the way that we set up our motorcycle. Right now, we are trying our best to understand exactly what we need and how to work the Michelin tyres in the correct way. Therefore, when you make these type of adjustments, it always costs time to undertake them and get the feeling that we require. So although the result isn’t fantastic, I am satisfied with the improvements that we made. Friday is the day to practice and test new ideas, which is what I believe I did today. Of course, tomorrow we want to try to advance as much as possible, but right now, even if I look on the other side of the Tech3 garage, we seem to be struggling a bit more than usual here. Now we will analyse the data and this evening we will make a good plan for tomorrow.”