Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Bradley Smith leaves Barcelona feeling optimistic for the future rounds after undertaking a thorough post-Catalan Grand Prix test today. The British rider concentrated mainly on the new Michelin tyres, as he evaluated all three of the new rear compounds available plus he tested different rear suspension options. He tirelessly lapped the circuit 83 times, which was more than any other MotoGP rider, but also crashed at turn five on his last lap. The 25-year-old set his best time mid way through the day and on his 44th lap, which left him less than a second from fifth. Having reached a positive conclusion, the 2015 fastest satellite rider now keenly awaits the forthcoming Motul Dutch Grand Prix where he intends to clinch the top independent honours.
On the other side of the pit box, Pol Espargaro rode relentlessly as he focused on the new tyres and additionally electronics and suspension settings with encouraging results being achieved. The young Spaniard got straight to work this morning in perfect conditions under the Catalan sun and eventually concluded the day by completing 48 laps, with his quickest time being set on just his third. The 24-year-old focused on setup solutions but a small crash, which he walked away from uninjured, did not slow his work rate. After a constructive day, the leading independent rider in the championship standings now confidently looks on to the next round at Assen in a fortnight’s time.
Position: 12th - Time: 1'45.670 - Laps: 83
"In general, today was positive and we can leave Barcelona feeling content with what we achieved at the test. After the technical issue in yesterday’s race, I am really pleased to complete 83 laps without any issues at all. I did a lot of tyre testing this morning for Michelin and they brought some interesting options so I'm excited to see how the tyres will evolve in the future. With regards to our setting, the main area of focus was the rear of the bike which seems to be where I’m most sensitive at the moment. We had quite a few different rear shock solutions that we wanted to try and although the result won’t necessarily boost performance, it will certainly make our weekend easier if I am struggling like I was here. Now, we have a good direction as well as more of an understanding about my YZR-M1. I’m always happy about these types of test because, like in Jerez, I can leave with more knowledge and added confidence for the package that I have. I will rest up now for two weeks and then get ready for Assen which I am looking forward to."
Position: 13th - Time : 1'45.835 - Laps: 48
"Overall, the test was successful and we can leave here feeling pleased with what we discovered. We worked on the tyres, the clutch and suspension settings, but the main area of focus was to try to improve the rear grip which was our weakness this weekend and we have made good progress even if I didn’t really go for a fast single lap time. With regards to the tyres, I sampled one new option and I ran ten consistent laps on it. It felt really good because there was stability at the beginning of a run and the drop off was not big, similarly to the medium option. We collected some good information and the best improvements are the traction and the increased stability, which is key. I don’t know exactly when this tyre will be introduced, but my feedback is positive. For the suspension, we adjusted the rear shock as we had a lack of grip on the rear, so I tried three settings and found some encouraging results. Considering that we were already competitive yesterday, I am now confident that I can be even stronger because of today’s outcome. I am pleased with the race performance because it was the first time that we were competing with the front guys so we deserved our result here and with the knowledge that we have gained, the team and I are optimistic for Assen."