Tech3 pair leave the Czech Republic confident after positive Brno test

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith undertook a confidence boosting test at the Masaryk circuit today as he closed the session in 6th. The 25-year-old sampled new electronics, examined suspension options and also reconfirmed the setup configurations that he used at last week’s Czech Grand Prix. With no action for any MotoGP riders occurring in the morning due to a dirty track surface, the British rider got straight to work after midday and immediately began his efforts. Smith posted his personal best time in the final hour of the day and on his penultimate lap, which resulted in him finishing under half a second adrift from third. He now confidently looks on to his home Grand Prix at Silverstone where he intends to clinch the leading satellite position in front of his fans.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro made some encouraging steps forward in today’s test in the Czech Republic. The Spaniard got into gear just after lunch and proceeded to begin testing electronic settings as well as setup options to improve his feeling during braking. With progress being made, the top independent rider in the championship standings produced a personal best of 1’56.952 which left a gap three-tenths of a second to his teammate. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion now confidently looks on to the forthcoming round in Great Britain where he aims to increase the gap to the top independent rider rivals in the standings.


Bradley Smith

Position: 6th - Time: 1'56.619 - Laps: 47


 

Bradley Smith - 2016"I feel that we have picked up some valuable knowledge that will certainly help us in the future even though we didn’t have a huge amount to test today. We spent the time clarifying certain aspects that we needed to look at so that we can head into Silverstone with a bike that has the best possible setup. We’ve learnt a lot in these past two races and we are starting to find our rhythm, hence why I wanted to check a few things again today. In addition, we’ve improved the bike in corner entry and the initial pickup of the throttle. I still think that we need to work on the sliding going into the corner and then the spinning on the exit. Moreover, for one lap on new tyres, I don’t feel too bad anymore and we’re going in the right direction. Yet, when the asphalt loses its grip on a Sunday, that seems to be where we struggle the most. Anyway, it’s time to head home but after the work that we completed, I am happy and confident as we head towards Silverstone."

Profil


Pol Espargaro

Position: 8th - Time: 1'56.952 - Laps: 43


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"We have made some good progress at this test and the work that we did leaves me feeling positive about my chances at future races. At the same time, it wasn’t ideal because we didn’t have too many tyres to use, the track surface was dirty and it was difficult to get into the rhythm this morning. Using only these few tyres meant that we struggled a little bit to get through everything that we wanted to go over. However, we tested some electronic settings, which I think will increase our performance so we will use these at some future GP’s. Furthermore, we also really improved how the bike behaves when braking which is very important because this is what we struggled a lot with this weekend and also in Austria, so it was the main accomplishment of the test. Due to the knowledge that we have gained, I am confident and I am looking forward to the next race."

Profil

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro persevered against the challenging conditions at the Czech Grand Prix to finish in 13th after what was a tricky race for the 25-year-old. The Spaniard kicked off his round 11 campaign from 12th on the grid and immediately ran with the factory MotoGP bikes at the front of the field. He slipped to 8th on the third lap but pushed onwards as he aimed to stay with the leading group. As the track began to dry Espargaro was shuffled back, despite his best efforts, and by lap fifteen he was running in 13th. Eventually, he met the chequered flag in this position to close what was a tough weekend. Today’s result sees the 2013 Moto2 title winner move up to 7th and as the top independent rider in the 2016 World Championship standings and he now intends to produce a strong result at the next round after tomorrow’s test in Brno.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith endured a disappointing end to the event after unfortunately suffering with a technical issue which caused him to retire from the Grand Prix. The Briton leapt forward from the middle of the fourth row of the grid and quickly set about moving through the pack as he completed the opening lap in 9th. He was pushed back one position a short time later, but remained focused and did his best to preserve his tyres for the second part of the race. However, at the midway point, the 25-year-old had to pit due to a technical issue with eight laps left to run. Nevertheless, Smith fully aims to bounce back in front of his home fans at the British Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.


Pol Espargaro

Position: 13th - Championship: 7th - Points: 81


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"This morning in the warm-up I struggled quite a lot in the wet but to be honest, we managed to improve the bike significantly for the race. Therefore, I was able to pass many riders at the beginning of the GP as I felt really comfortable. However, when the track started to dry, I began to face some difficulties because I lacked grip and traction, but I tried to keep my pace without making any mistakes so that I could take home as many points as possible. I believe that today we weren't able to use the electronics to their best potential, plus I think the hard rear tyre would have been a better choice, especially at the end of the race. Yet, I rode this compound for two laps and I didn’t feel 100% happy with it, so we went for the option that we used in the warm up. Now I really hope that we'll have a dry race in Silverstone because with no rain, we are usually strong and we will be able to show our true potential."

Profil


Bradley Smith

Position: DNF - Championship: 15th - Points: 42


 

 Bradley Smith - 2016"Of course, it’s disappointing to have another DNF for a technical issue, especially as my race was running positively up until that point. The opening lap went quite well, and I was able to make up a few positions plus, I felt quite comfortable on the bike. When the track started to dry, I could increase my pace and push harder so that I could go with the guys close to me. Still, at the same time, I was looking after my tyres because I was certain that tyre management would be crucial at the end of the race. Yet, unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to prove that as I had to pit in. The riders who I was close to before I pitted, ended up finishing in 5th and 6th so this is where I would have seen myself at the end of the race and that definitely would have been a good result ahead of my home GP. Considering that it was one of the weekends where we were closer to the front from the word go, it’s a big shame, but also due to it being the second time I’ve had to retire because of a technical issue in 2016, which is just bad luck. However, with the test tomorrow, we will go over a few things which will boost my confidence for my home Grand Prix at Silverstone, which is up next."

Profil


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager:


 

“On a day like today in the Czech Republic, we all know that anything can happen in the race due to the weather. This is the third time this season, after Assen and Sachsenring, that we have had very difficult and mixed conditions. Like a lot of riders on the grid, we went for the soft compound of tyre as it was the only one we tested and with a lot of standing water this morning in warm up, it worked well. When the track dried out, it was clear to see that the guys who gambled and chose the hard tyres had an enormous advantage. Our two boys did their best to stay on track and lose as few positions as possible. Unfortunately, Bradley had to pit and retire due to a technical issue, which is a shame because he was having a strong race until then. Pol bravely put his head down, reached the flag and got three points. The only thing that we can take as a positive is that Pol gained one position in the championship due to some DNF’s. This is more of a weekend to forget than one to celebrate, but hopefully, Silverstone will be dry and sunny. Plus, in addition, of course, I have to say congratulations to Cal for his victory today!”

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith will kick off the Czech Republic Grand Prix from 11th on the grid after pushing relentlessly today at the undulating Masaryk circuit. The young Briton started by determinedly battling in FP3 but he just missed out on the cut-off point, which meant that he had to compete in QP1. Here, however, he launched into attack mode immediately and completed the shootout only 0.064 behind the leading time, which confirmed his appearance in Qualifying two. Once this session began, Smith continued where he left off and immediately got on the pace. The British star eventually sped to his personal best on his final lap which left him only 0.606 from Valentino Rossi. Tomorrow, he will aim to leap forward and join the battle for the top independent position.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro will start the 22 lap fight from behind his teammate. The 25-year-old commenced the day by finishing the free practice three session in 8th after pulling off his best time on the penultimate lap, which was a huge improvement of 1.192 from yesterday. Once in QP2, he set off at speed in pursuit of seizing a top tier grid position. He built up his pace and eventually shot across the finish line after giving his all, and clinched a grid position on the fourth row, right behind his teammate. The leading independent rider in the 2016 championship will intend to close the weekend with a notable top eight finish.


Bradley Smith

Position: 11th - Time: 1'56.115 - Laps: 7


 

 Bradley Smith - 2016"To be perfectly honest, 11th on the grid is not an ideal starting point, but it has been a few races since I’ve been able to compete in Q2 so therefore I can’t be too unhappy. However, I believe we have some more work to do because I feel that we’re missing something and we’ve not improved as much as we would have liked. It seems as though everyone has progressed from yesterday to today, but we only made half a step. The Tech3 guys and I need to find some additional pace for the race tomorrow, and even though I am where I am, I want more from the team and myself. Nevertheless, I am certain that we will be able to fight well inside the top ten, and we will use the time until the GP to refine our setup for the 22 lap sprint. The weather is unpredictable at the moment, so we won’t be completely sure of what it will do until it gets to race time, however, we will do some analysis tonight and be ready nevertheless."

Profil


Pol Espargaro

 Position: 12th - Time: 1'56.522 - Laps: 7


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"In FP3 this morning, I felt much better on my bike in comparison to yesterday which meant that I was able to improve the lap time straight away and I finished the session in 8th. Then, later on in Free Practice 4, I was riding comfortably but I made a slight mistake in corner 6 and I touched the painted white line on the inside of the corner and I lost the front. Unfortunately, when I went out with the second bike, I didn’t have the same confidence and this is the reason for our qualifying result. I wasn’t comfortable and I didn’t feel as natural on the bike as I should have, plus I struggled to ride a similar pace to this morning. Nevertheless, I am convinced that with a bit more track time we will be back up to speed, just like we have shown this morning. In addition, the weather forecast for tomorrow is rain, so we have to wait until and see. Clearly, I didn't give myself an easy task starting from the back of the fourth row, but as soon as the lights turn green, I will push as hard as I can to fight for the leading independent rider position."

Profil

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