Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro battled against the torrid weather on the first day of the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to finish in 7th overall. The round 16 weekend kicked off under constant rain at the Phillip Island circuit and Espargaro braved the cold and damp weather in FP1 as he collected valuable wet setup information. He completed the session in 7th, and he looked ahead to the afternoon. Here, however, after a delayed start to the session due to the increased rainfall, the Spaniard opted against taking to the asphalt because of the treacherous conditions. The practice was eventually cancelled, but nevertheless, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion will aim to get straight back to work in free practice 3 tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith endured a shortened first day of action in southern Australia and despite his eagerness to experience as much time on his Yamaha YZR-M1 as possible whilst he continues his recovery process, he wisely opted against running in the waterlogged FP2 session. The British star chose to sit out the majority of the morning practice, yet with under ten minutes remaining he jumped on his MotoGP bike and courageously completed several laps to get a feel for the high-speed circuit in the wet on this year’s Michelin tyres. However, due to his injured right knee, the 25-year-old only completed 7 laps in order to minimise any risks, but tomorrow he hopes for better weather in order to carry on his setup work ahead of the all-important qualifying shootout.

Pol Espargaro

Position: 7th - Time: 1'42.465 - Laps: 15


Pol Espargaro - 2016"Today has been complicated because of the weather, but we all know that the Phillip Island circuit is a unique place as it is so close to the ocean. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any track time during FP2 as there was too much water on the track, yet we had the whole practice this morning and I am pleased with our performance. I believe that today, the main aim for me was to get accustomed to the circuit again, which is what we did, plus my feeling with the bike was positive. Of course, we still have a margin of improvement to make and we didn’t try the supersoft tyre yet, as we don’t have many in our allocation, so we decided that it would be better to keep them for tomorrow. However, to finish day 1 inside the top 10 and not far from the top of the time sheets is a promising start to the weekend and we will work hard to improve even more in FP3."


Bradley Smith

Position: DNQ - Time: 1'49.008 - Laps: 7

Bradley Smith - 2016

"The first day in Phillip Island hasn’t been the best, but with these tough conditions, not only with the water, but also with the temperature at one of the fastest circuits in the world, racing can become quite dangerous so we had to play it safe. I completed a few laps this morning, but unfortunately, when I went out on the track, the weather took a turn for the worse and it was quite tricky. However, if we compare my times with the other riders who were out when I was, I can see that I was quite competitive. This afternoon, the weather got worse and there was a lot of water on the track. Even though the session was delayed and then eventually red flagged, I made my own decision to sit out that practice, and wait for tomorrow instead. I didn’t want to create any more stress or risk making my injury any worse, and I also want to keep a bit of extra power for the race on Sunday, which looks like it could be dry."



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