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Apr 27, 2014 - 06:22 AM
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Smith Prepared For Tough Battle In Argentina
Posted by: newsla on Apr 27, 2014 - 06:22 AM
MotoGP
Smith Prepared For Tough Battle In Argentina


Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s Bradley Smith confirmed his status as the ‘one to watch’ for this season, by pulling off another positive qualifying performance. He cemented his 7th place on the grid for tomorrow’s inaugural race at the fast flowing 4806 metre Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in northern Argentina.

 

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Smith focused on fine-tuning the race setup during the FP3 session, and evaluated which front and rear tyre compound would be the best for tomorrow's race, considering the ever improving track conditions. The Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider showed complete resilience and sailed easily through from Qualifying 1 to Qualifying 2, even setting his best Q1 time on used tyres. He later confessed that the 15 minutes of extra track time had been an advantage as the young British rider rode his Yamaha YZR-M1 with agility around the meandering circuit and a best time of 1:38.958 which was less than a hundredth of a second behind multiple world champion, and Factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi. Tomorrow Smith will once again aim to challenge for a top 5 position, and battle with the Factory MotoGP bikes.

Pol Espargaro ran immediately at pace at the Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo, and displayed his persistent efforts and hard work today. The reigning Moto2 World champion walked away from a fall at the final turn in FP3, and was unhurt aside from a minor finger injury, but still qualified straight through to Q2. During Qualifying 2, the MotoGP rookie rode courageously to set a best lap of 1:40.407, and is confident of fighting for his second top ten points scoring finish in succession.

Bradley Smith Bradley Smith: 7th: 1:38.958:

“I am really pleased with 7th position going into tomorrow’s race. Participating in Qualifying 1 wasn’t part of the plan, but during FP3 I was concentrating on doing long runs with used tyres to make the best choice for tomorrow’s race. But in the end, it even helped us, as the extra track time enabled us to test a few more setting changes. This was especially beneficial as the bike was struggling a bit in the braking areas, which we managed to amend. I was able to go quicker on a used hard tyre during Qualifying 1 and then could further lower my lap time on the soft in Q2. Still, things could have gone better, because I knew the track was improving but I made a small error on my first flying lap on the soft, so the tyre’s grip dropped. If this didn’t occur, maybe I would have had a chance at the second row. It will be tough tomorrow as the track is evolving all the time. I think we need to race with the hard rear tyre as it will be the most consistent. My aim is to get a good start and try to remain with the Factory Yamahas.”


Pol Espargaro Pol Espargaro: 11th: 1:40.407:

“Honestly I am quite disappointed with my qualifying result of 11th, but I still feel confident of achieving a good result tomorrow as my rhythm was competitive during all the other sessions and I really felt comfortable on the bike. After the crash this morning, I felt a little bit confused but beside a small injury on my finger I was lucky to getaway unhurt and it will not be a problem for tomorrow. This afternoon I decided to try the hard tyre to improve my lap time in qualifying but this was the wrong choice. I felt stronger on it the whole weekend, but the changing grip level and higher temperatures did not put me in the best conditions to get the maximum out of my bike. We still have to try a few things during the warm up, and also the final tyre decision has to be made. In any case I will give it my all during the race, and with a good start I’m convinced I can battle with the other satellite riders.”

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