The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro continued his bright form in 2016 by completing today’s post Spanish GP test in 9th place. The 25-year-old began optimistically as he experimented with setup options for his Yamaha YZR-M1 as well as new Michelin tyres. After tirelessly pushing throughout the day, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion finished with a best time of 1’39.942 that left him just three-tenths of a second from fourth. The result leaves him fully charged and ready to impress once again as he guns for the top independent rider position at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith made steps forward as he focused on re-evaluating setup options for his Yamaha YZR-M1 in Andalucía today as well as also sampling the new Michelin tyres. The young Briton got straight to work with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and relentlessly completed 71 laps. His fastest time was less than four tenths from his teammate, which he set on his penultimate lap of the day. His test performance leaves the 25-year-old confident of a strong showing for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s home Grand Prix at Le Mans in a fortnight’s time.
Position: 9th - Time: 1'39.942 - Laps: 62
"I’m a bit surprised with today’s outcome because we tried a lot of adjustments on the bike and all of them turned out to be positive. However, the solutions that we found on the bike really helped me, especially at a track with low grip like this. In addition, I also sampled a couple of new front tyres from Michelin, which I am pleased with. Regarding the tyres of this weekend's allocation, we had to use mainly the harder compound, as there wasn’t too many soft ones left, which I used in yesterday’s race. However, we did use one soft tyre for more than 30 laps without any issues and at the moment it’s still my favourite compound. The good news is that with the setting that we made on the bike and the new tyres, we have made progress with the locking issues that we were having with the front. So the tyres which Michelin brought seem to be performing well, and we now have some solid points to take home. We’ll test the new compounds again after the Catalan Grand Prix and let’s see what happens there."
Position: 11th - Time: 1'40.335 - Laps: 71
"Even though the results from today’s test are not incredible, we’ve made some good progress but I don’t think this will dramatically turn around my season. We’ve been struggling a little so far this year, and I’ve never really found something that I’m completely comfortable with. A lot of what we did today was going over the things that we adjusted in the first track appearances in 2016 so that we could reconfirm our knowledge. The adjustments that we have made aren’t negative and we can see that we have gone in the right direction. This morning we retested everything and made sure that we have the best package in our garage. Then, this afternoon we tried a couple of front tyres for Michelin. I just evaluated these as best as I could but we used the normal tyres for our setup work as these new tyres are for the future. After that, we continued to focus on the bike, by establishing a base setting plus modifying the rear shock and altering my riding position too. It’s been a busy day and there were no miracles, but then again, we weren’t really expecting any. The team and I just wanted to keep our heads down, do our best and gain about 0.3 seconds a lap. In the end, we actually beat our objective as we were about 0.5 faster. So I am pleased with the outcome and the team did a good job so let’s see what we can do at their home GP."