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Feb 04, 2014 - 04:37 PM
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Strong start for Monster Yamaha Tech3s Smith and Espargaro at Sepang
Posted by: newsla on Feb 04, 2014 - 04:36 PM
Strong start for Monster Yamaha Tech3s Smith and Espargaro at Sepang

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team kicked off its preparation for the upcoming 2014 MotoGP World Championship at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia today. After over 80 days away from their Yamaha YZF M1’s, both Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, could not wait to get back on the 5,543 km long track which welcomed the MotoGP family with perfect weather conditions.

Today was the first of nine test days in Malaysia and Qatar, before the first race which starts on March 23rd on the floodlit track in Doha, Qatar.


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It also marked the first outing this year in the MotoGP class for rookie Pol Espargaro, and the start of a second year campaign for Bradley Smith with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team.

2013 Moto2 world champion Espargaro, used the day to further familiarize himself with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 YZF-M1 MotoGP bike, and quickly set a consistent rhythm, completing 48 laps in total. Having previously ridden the YZF – M1 only once before, the Spanish rider explored different set ups and electronic options, before posting a personal best lap time of 2.01,634 min during the final stages of the test, as the track temperature dropped.

Bradley Smith, who returns to the Monster Yamaha Tech3 squad for his second year in the MotoGP class, pushed forward from his positive post season test in Valencia last year. The young British rider completed 55 laps on his new 2014 spec Yamaha YZF M1, experimenting with the behaviour of his bike with different electronic settings. Smith finished the first of the three test days in tenth position, with a fastest lap of 2.01,876 min and a gap of less than eight tenths from Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.

The second session of testing will resume tomorrow at 10.00am (local time - +8 GMT) at the Sepang International circuit.

Pol Espargaro – 9th – 2.01,634 min:
“It has been emotional today to be back on the bike and I'm really happy with how we kicked of the preparations to my first MotoGP season. Of course at this stage, my main aim has to be to learn as much as possible about the Yamaha YZF M1 and not to push it to its absolute limit. Compared to Valencia, I found it more difficult to find the right line on this track as everything is bigger and wider. But my gap to the fastest rider is similar to Valencia and the track is 1,5km longer so I have to be happy with the progress we made. For tomorrow, I really hope that it’s not as hot as today as the conditions are really demanding and especially with the bigger bike it’s hard to keep the concentration always at its maximum. I will continue trying different set up and electronic solutions with the aim to reduce to gap to front steadily”

Bradley Smith – 10th – 2.01.876 min:
“First of all it has been a big pleasure to be back on track and I have to admit that especially after the promising result in Valencia the winter seasonlt really long and I was definitely looking forward to be back on the bike. All in all the day has been positive. Physically I felt much better than last year at this stage, so I'm happy my training seems to have paid off. I also feel very comfortable with the set up of the bike but due to the regulation changes the electronic system is different and we spent the whole day working on it, to make the bike feel it bit more like mine. In generally I'm really happy with how we started today, the majority of my laps was faster than last year as we did a lot of 2.01’s, but we clearly have to improve during the next two days as the gap to Jorge and Valentino is quite big”

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