Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaro delivered a resolute performance to finish the Grand Prix of The Americas in a well deserved 7th place in front of approximately 56,000 passionate fans. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion kicked off his battle from 13th on the grid and undertook a positive start before bringing himself right in the mix in the fight for the top independent rider. He continued his strong pace and by lap seven he had risen up to 10th. After moving ahead of the group, Espargaro dug deep and set a series of consistent lap times to gap the pursuing riders and with the 21-lap lasting competition drawing to a close, the Spaniard remained cool and eventually sped over the finish line in 7th. The result leaves him fourth in the 2016 World Championship standings and Monster Yamaha Tech3 third in the team standings, ahead of the MotoGP paddock returning to Europe.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith suffered bad luck in the round three battle despite producing a thorough effort in the race. The young Briton began the Grand Prix from the fourth row on the grid after a determined display in qualifying yesterday. When the lights flicked off, Smith bolted forwards and quickly set into his rapid rhythm as he looked to clinch a strong point scoring finish. By lap 8, he was up to 8th and had closed in on the three riders in front of him yet, his luck ran dry and he fell at the 11th turn. Nevertheless, the determined 25-year-old remounted and pushed all the way to the chequered flag, but eventually completed the race in 17th due to a damaged gear lever. The 2015 fastest satellite rider will now seek to bounce back strongly at the next GP at the Circuito de Jerez.
Position : 7th - Championship : 4th - Points : 28
"Today I certainly didn't feel very comfortable on the bike but having said that I did my very best in trying to keep it on two wheels. At the beginning of the race, we decided to use the softer front tyre and in all honesty, it was really tricky to follow the other riders on full fuel load. Yet, once the tank emptied a bit, I was able to start pushing and I began catching my teammate. Then suddenly, I saw some crashes in front and I even had a moment myself, so I decided to settle down as I wanted to finish the race and leave the US with some valuable points. In the end, this is what we achieved, so now I am 4th in the championship which is a nice gift for the boss, as it's his birthday today. The next GP will be back in Europe and on my home soil so I can't wait to go to Jerez, especially after the positive start to the season so far. Of course, we go there with the aim of improving our performance further, but I believe that this year more than ever, consistency is the key for a strong championship result.
Position : 17th - Championship : 13th - Points : 16
"Unfortunately, today’s result wasn’t the best and all of our hard work was lost because of something that was out of our control. I lost the front at turn 11 due to an oil spill or something on the racetrack. It was just a little bit off the racing line and when Cal went down it caught me by surprise, so I released the brake. I was slightly off line, just like he was and I fell at the exact same place. This was frustrating because it wasn’t a mistake of my own, but this is racing and these things happen. I couldn’t really do much once I got back on the bike because I had a damaged gear lever, which made it difficult to shift, plus I also lost the anti-wheelie so the final laps were tricky to say the least. However, I was determined to finish because we had worked hard all weekend and overall there are still many positives to consider as we were definitely stronger at the beginning of this Grand Prix than we have been in the first two. So to conclude, I am happy with the final performance at this event, but I am disappointed that something silly like this ruined our race. Now, we have a lot of work to do to catch up on points in the championship but once we go to Jerez we will be ready to push forward again.”
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
“What a weekend! The Circuit of The Americas is a really tough and difficult track plus the weather conditions weren’t easy, but in the end, I am very pleased with the outcome because it was a hard race. We gambled a bit with the rear tyre and decided to go with the soft compound option for both riders. Ultimately, I believe that it was that right choice as they were able to stay consistent until the final stages of the GP. The front locked a lot for Pol in the closing laps so it was tricky for him to keep a good rhythm, but I have to say thank you very much and congratulations to our Spanish rider for what he has done so far this season. Maybe the results haven’t been incredibly exciting, but at the end of the day, he is 4th in the championship. We knew that these first few rounds would be tricky with challenging circuits for us yet after all, it was always going to be very important to arrive in Jerez with a strong position in the standings. On the other side of the garage, it’s a big shame about what happened to Brad because I feel that we could have had another solid team result. For some reason, Bradley went a little bit wide on the part of the track where we saw all the crashes and then his race was ruined. Nevertheless, he was very brave and motivated in bringing the bike back home as well as finishing the Grand Prix. This is especially admirable because the gear lever was completely broken so we have no idea how he managed to change gears! However, it’s a big pity for him to not take any points, but we know that he’s fast and he did a lot of hard testing here so I think that we will be in a much better position in Jerez. Now, we go back to Europe for a good rest for the whole team, whom I must say thank you to for their hard work, and next time we will meet in beautiful Jerez.”