Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith undertook a solid recovery from what was an uphill start yesterday in the 10th round of the MotoGP World Championship. The 25-year-old, who endured a tough opening to the day at the undulating Spielberg circuit, concluded the first session in 17th as he completed 22 laps. However, the English rider remained resolute and after the changes the team undertook, Smith delivered a promising performance in FP4 before attacking as soon as Qualifying One began. His personal best lap was shy of the cut-off point for Q2 by just over a tenth of a second, however, he made a huge improvement of 1.815 on yesterday’s FP2 time. In addition, this result would have left him just outside the top ten in qualifying 2. The British star remains focused and optimistic of picking up a strong finish tomorrow and will commence the Austrian Grand Prix from fifth row of the grid.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Pol Espargaro gave his all despite struggling to adjust his Yamaha YZR-M1 to the challenging Austrian circuit and will kick off his Grand Prix battle from right behind his teammate. The Spaniard leapt straight into action this morning and delivered 21 laps as he posted his quickest time on his final run, however, this lap resulted in him having to compete in Qualifying One in the afternoon. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion charged away when the shootout began and eventually set his personal best on the 6th lap out of 7, which saw him finish behind his teammate by 0.139. Nevertheless, despite the tricky qualifying, Espargaro remains confident for the 28-lap sprint tomorrow.

Bradley Smith

Position: 14th - Time: 1'24.126 - Laps: 9


 Bradley Smith - 2016"We have gained some more experience and track time which means that we were faster today, even if we didn’t have the best start to this weekend. Yet, I am satisfied with my performance because we made a big step from yesterday with regards to the lap time which I cut by just under two seconds today. In FP4, I began to find a better rhythm than what we had so far this weekend, which of course, is pleasing. It goes without saying that we are going to try to improve the Yamaha this evening so that we can have a more consistent bike for tomorrow. Yet, on the whole, the team has done a fantastic job, so I must say thanks to them because we’re all in this situation together and we are trying as hard as we can. I believe that we have a solid race pace that will enable me to fight inside the top ten, so I need to concentrate on a good start and then we’ll see what happens from there."


Pol Espargaro

Position: 15th - Time: 1'24.265 - Laps: 7


Pol Espargaro - 2016"It didn’t quite go to plan today but we are making steps forward, even if they are small ones compared to the other riders. However, I must say that it’s tricky to set the bike up at this track because of its hard braking points and this is where we are struggling the most. The team and I are trying as many solutions as possible in the few sessions that we have available before qualifying, but until now we haven’t found the right combination or direction. This hard braking issue is the reason why I am losing time in sector one and two as these sectors feature some key points. I tried to follow some other riders but that wasn’t easy for me to do, so as a result, we will start from 15th tomorrow. Still, I am confident that we can amend the current situation and we will use the warm-up to refine the setting in order to be as competitive as possible for the race, even if I haven’t given myself an easy task on the grid."



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