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Mar 22, 2014 - 06:11 AM
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Progress Continues At Qatar For Tech3s Smith And Espargaro
Posted by: newsla on Mar 22, 2014 - 06:07 AM
Progress Continues At Qatar For Tech3s Smith And Espargaro

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro continued their bright start to the season by improving on the second day of free practice at the floodlit Losail International Circuit, ahead of the qualifying sessions tomorrow.


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Bradley Smith furthered his impressive progress during the two 45min sessions at the 5.38 km circuit in Qatar today, with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider improving his best time from yesterday’s practice by 0.342 of a second. The young English rider had a breath taking high side crash during the final free practice session, which luckily inflicted no injuries to him. Smith remounted to finish 6th with a best time of 1:55.474 which was expertly quicker than both factory Yamaha riders and will see him progress to the Q2 session tomorrow.

Pol Espargaro continued his solid start as a rookie in the premier MotoGP class by lowering his lap time again today. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion suffered a fall in the second practice session. Fortunately he did not sustain any further injuries, nor aggrivate his shoulder injury any more, and determinedly used his second bike to run his fastest lap times in the third period. His best lap time was a 1:55.793, an improvement of 0.227 from the first practice session which left Espargaro in 11th place and just 0.091 behind Factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi. Espargaro’s time will see him enter the QP1 session tomorrow.

Bradley Smith - 6th - 1:55.474:
“I am happy with today’s performance and I feel that I am close to where I want and need to be. Today the track conditions improved, and the Bridgestone tyres were working more effectively. It was unfortunate to have the high side, especially as we were trying a new setting with the bike at that time. I know I am very lucky to be walking away without any injury from such a big crash and am thankful that I wasn’t hurt. I then went straight back out on my second bike, went faster and got into the top six which I am pleased about. However, now we need to find a balance between both of my bikes, as they have each big positives, and afterwards we see what we can do tomorrow, but I’m really confident and ready for the qualifying.”

Pol Espargaro - 11th - 1:55.793:
“Today has not been our best day. We could have improved more but in the first session we had quite a big crash and I have been fortunate that I escaped unhurt and that my shoulder injury did not worsen. The session itself was a bit strange and unfortunately because of the crash we had to use an additional tyre, which makes things a bit trickier now as we have to go through QP1. I lacked grip throughout today because of the track surface, and that did not help. Moreover I was a bit confused after the crash as there were too many thoughts in my head. Nevertheless, I am pleased with how the bike felt and happy that I was able to ride some competitive lap times. There is another practice session tomorrow and I am confident of qualifying well for my first MotoGP race on Sunday, but I am in need of a good rest tonight”.

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