Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaro undertook an impressive qualifying campaign at the Cathedral of Speed and will kick off tomorrow’s highly anticipated race from 7thon the grid. The young Spaniard began the day by completing the morning practice in 12th after suffering a fall midway through the session, which prevented him from progressing to Q2, which he missed by only 0.073 of a second. However, rain fell just before FP4 where Espargaro battled onwards then, in QP1, he launched into action and notably finished first to progress through to qualifying 2. Here, he continued his efforts and after topping the time sheets early in the session, the Spanish rider pushed further and cut his time again, before completing the shootout in 7th by the time the chequered flag fell. Now the 25 year old keenly awaits the GP tomorrow where he aims to seal the top independent rider honours.

On the opposite side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 pit box, Bradley Smith fought against the elements at the historic Dutch circuit and will begin the 8th round of the World Championship from the fifth row of the grid. The young Briton kicked off his day by continuing his setup work from yesterday before finishing the morning session in 15th, which confirmed his attendance in Q1. Here, Smith got straight to work as he battled against the tricky conditions and he built up his pace as the minutes counted down, before setting a personal best on his penultimate lap. Nevertheless, the 25 year old optimistically looks on to the race tomorrow where he intends to clinch a solid point scoring result.

Pol Espargaro

Position: 7th - Time: 1'46.997 - Laps: 8


Pol Espargaro - 2016"To end up in seventh position in what was definitely one of the most difficult days I have experienced in MotoGP, is something that we have to be pleased with. Today was about being smart on the bike which I had to work a lot on and I also had to be super smooth plus not make any mistakes. The fact that we had to go through QP1 was an extra tricky task because with these conditions you can’t predict how things will turn out. The bike was sliding so much in FP1 but I didn't ride on the absolute limit until the last minute as I didn't want to crash. Instead, in the final qualifying I pushed one lap too early and on the last one I had Vinales in front who hindered me a bit so I couldn't improve the lap time further. It's a pity but considering how the day started, we have to be very satisfied with our position. For tomorrow I really hope we will have a dry race, as our pace seemed to be strong and consistent. If the conditions are wet I think it will be a real lottery, just like at the beginning of the season, as we could see today how easy it is to crash out because of a minor mistake. However, we will do our best and fight until the chequered flag."


Bradley Smith

Position: 14th - Time: 1'48.909 - Laps: 8


 Bradley Smith - 2016"It was tricky out there today, but we gave it everything that we had. It was the first time since Argentina that we had to ride in the wet, and I was quite apprehensive because we didn’t have a fantastic setup when it rained there. Anyway the team worked really well today and we tried to undertake a solid strategy by pitting in Q1, yet unfortunately I couldn’t tell the guys in the garage exactly what I wanted and we were very short on time! Therefore, we compromised ourselves a little bit by going out on the second bike. Nevertheless, I felt that we had decent pace and Hernandez and Pol who progressed, were really competitive in the second qualifying practice, so I have to take some positives from that as I was close to both of them in the first session. For tomorrow, we have some work to do and we can still improve the bike in different areas in order to obtain a good result for the Dutch fans."



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