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Apr 12, 2014 - 06:22 AM
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Uphill Start For Smith And Espargaro In Sunny Texas
Posted by: newsla on Apr 12, 2014 - 06:20 AM
Uphill Start For Smith And Espargaro In Sunny Texas

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro finished today’s free practice sessions in optimistic spirits at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas for the second round of the MotoGP World Championship.


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Both riders lowered their lap times from the first free practice session by a full second with the conditions being sunny and dry, at the state of the art track, which features the longest straight of a circuit on the Grand Prix calendar.

Bradley Smith relentlessly amassed a total of 36 laps of the Texan circuit across both of today’s sessions to finish in 10th place in the combined times. In his second appearance aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 in Texas, Smith posted a best time of 2:05.366 which means that he has already lapped faster than last year, with a gap of just over half a second to the fastest Factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi. After having spent the first day evaluating all of the possible tyre options and setting his fastest time on the harder one, the young British rider remains confident of a top 6 result in tomorrow’s qualifying session.

Rookie Pol Espargaro proceeded to collected valuable data today as he refined the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike, whilst also sampling the 2013 Bridgestone tyres for the first time ever at the challenging Circuit of the Americas. The reigning Moto2 World Champion finished in 12th position with a best time of 2:05.672 and just over half a second from Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo. The Spanish rider who is aiming for a top 10 finish in the race event on Sunday, is now back to full health following his collarbone injury, and completed 31 laps around the 5.513 kilometre circuit.

Bradley Smith - 10th - 2:05.366:
“The biggest positive of today is that I am riding faster and more confident on the track compared to last year. I feel great with the bike especially in sector 1 and 3, but I still need to improve in the second part of the circuit as well as in the last one. This afternoon we were able to test both tyre solutions, the medium one as well as the hard one. With the hard tyre I feel really good and I also did my fastest lap with it. However, as the weather may change we will have to choose the tyre accordingly for the rest of the weekend, but we are in a good position to make the right decision. Overall, today was useful as we collected very valuable data and we know how to go quicker, which will hopefully be by another second.”

Pol Espargaro - 12th - 2:05.672:
“Today has been a tricky day and a big challenge for me. There was a lot to learn and this track is really difficult. If you make a slight mistake with the line at the beginning of the second corner, you finish completely off line at the end of the corner sequence. Also using the 2013 Bridgestone tyre for the first time did not make things easy. That’s why I think I am pushing a bit too much, I definitely want to ride smoother because it’s the only way to be fast with the Yamaha. So I just need to relax more on the bike, and continue to work with my team and for sure we can improve. There are things to be changed, but I am confident that I can qualify well and I am ready to give it my all tomorrow.”

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