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Apr 13, 2014 - 07:52 AM
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Tech3s Smith Prepared For Fight To Top 5 At Texas
Posted by: newsla on Apr 13, 2014 - 07:47 AM
MotoGP
Tech3s Smith Prepared For Fight To Top 5 At Texas


The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s riders produced another strong-minded display in qualifying today and will begin the Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix with Bradley Smith in 8th and Pol Espargaro in 11th position for the second round of the MotoGP World Championship. Both riders moved straight into the qualifying practice2 as they made further steps forward after a challenging start in yesterday’s opening sessions.

 

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Bradley Smith produced another sterling display at the long and twisting Texan track with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. Despite the complexity of the Circuit of the Americas, Smith continued his encouraging performance and leapt forward to 5th in FP3, as he was the quickest of all the Yamaha MotoGP riders. During QP2, he knocked off another two hundredth of a second from his FP3 time, but ultimately finished in 8th place, only half of a second behind the Factory Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo. His fastest time was also a colossal improvement from last year’s best qualifying time, by almost three seconds. The young British rider’s performances so far this year confirm his determination to be the leading satellite bike, as he aims to fight for a top 5 finish in the 21 lap race tomorrow.

Rookie Pol Espargaro completed a successful run to qualify 11th for tomorrow’s Grand Prix, and only just over a second from the leading time in his second race appearance on a MotoGP bike. After overcoming the difficulty of learning the 2013 Bridgestone tyres, which he had previously not competed on, the reigning Moto2 World Champion advanced straight into QP2 with a strong 9th place in FP3, ahead of the Factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi. Signs of progression were evident, as his best lap of 2:03.913 set in QP2, was his fastest of the weekend by 2.7 seconds compared to yesterday’s opening session, and only a tenth away from 7th place. However confidence is high for the 22 year old to gain a positive result tomorrow and score his inaugural points in the MotoGP World Championship as some of the riders in front of him were running soft tyres today, which will not be sustainable for tomorrow’s race distance.

Bradley Smith - 8th - 2:03.800:

"In general, I am quite satisfied with 8th poshave improved by 1.6 seconds from yesterday, which is positive and also a huge leap compared to the qualifying time from last year. I set a good lap time in FP3 which I was then able to better by two tenths later on in QP2. Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the last sector during my fastest lap which cost me around 3 tenths, and I would have been only 0.2 seconds from the Factory Yamaha bikes if this hadn’t occurred, which is an acceptable gap. So now we need to analyse the information, see where we can improve furthermore and make another step during tomorrow’s warm up. Anyway, I am really looking forward to the race where I will focus on getting a good start, and being as aggressive as possible to get into the top five at the first corner. No doubt, it will be a tough GP with plenty of overtaking, so I have to be prepared to pass other riders and keep a good lap time for all 21 laps.

Pol Espargaro - 11th - 2:03.913:

"Overall, I am pretty happy as I went straight into QP2, which shows a big improvement since Qatar. On the other hand I am a little disappointed with 11th, as I was near the top guys, and only one tenth of a second off 7th place. If I had not made some small mistakes on the second run with the new tyre, I know I could have gone faster. The bike felt good, although I did experience some issues with the front end of the bike and also with the wheeling which we tried to fix, and will continue to resolve tomorrow. Also, I needed to relearn the track on a MotoGP bike, which is difficult as I must be smoother. Jorge and Valentino are able to be so quick as they ride in this manner, and this is what I need to improve. I feel positive for the race, as the riders in front of me, rode with a soft tyre today, which gives me an advantage as they can’t use it tomorrow. I need a good start, and it will be a tough battle but I am confident that I can overtake and get a good result."

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