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May 03, 2014 - 04:56 PM
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Spanish Sun Shines on Espargaro and Smith
Posted by: newsla on May 03, 2014 - 04:55 PM
Spanish Sun Shines on Espargaro and Smith

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team experienced a positive day of qualifying at the tight and twisty Circuito de Jerez after both riders qualified on the third row for tomorrow’s 27-lap sprint.


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Pol Espargaro will contest the Grand Prix de Espana from 8th position on the grid after the Spanish rider produced a powerful and determined ride today in hot conditions in Jerez. The 22 year old rookie furthered his competitive streak during the opening races to complete FP3 with a top time of 1.39,530, ending in 9th position. This permitted him to qualify straight through to the Q2. He experienced slight issues yesterday due to having to relearn the relevant racing lines for a MotoGP bike, which differ from the Moto2 ones. Yet, today the Spanish rider showed true grit to clinch 8th position with a best lap time of 1.39.293, which was less than half a second behind multiple world champion and Factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi. The reigning Moto2 world champion who is growing ever confident in his race pace and ability, will be gunning for a strong finish tomorrow in his fourth MotoGP race aboard the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Yamaha YZR-M1, as he aims to build on his personal best result of 6th position in Texas.

Bradley Smith pulled off another top ten qualifying result to start tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix in 9th position. The British rider set a best time of 1.39,561, in FP3 this morning which was almost a second quicker than his final qualifying time last year and allowed him to progress immediately through to Q2 in sunny conditions at the Andalucian circuit. The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider then gritted his teeth and worked hard to power over the finish line with a best lap of 1.39,390 in the final fifteen minute Q2 session with his Yamaha YZR-M1 and cement his starting position of 9th place. Smith remains resolute in battling for a top five position around the 4332-metre circuit for tomorrow’s 27-lap race.

Pol Espargaro
Position : 8th
Time : 1.39.293

Pol Espargaro -Jerez 2014“Today I am really pleased with the level of improvement we have made, and feel great about starting from 8th on the grid. My best time from FP2 was a 1.41, and finally I finished with a 1.39,2, so it’s clear to see how much of a leap forward we have made. I am improving race by race, and we found a really positive setting, which I am very comfortable with and it is allowing me to ride faster. The competition will be fierce tomorrow, but every race is different. This one will be quite tricky due to the conditions, but I am happy with my race pace and I really look forward to battling in front of my fans in my home country, even if we are completely set yet. I tried both tyre options over the weekend, but we have to wait for the weather tomorrow morning to make the final decision about which one we want to do the race with.”

Bradley Smith
Position : 9th
Time : 1.39.390

Bradley Smith -Jerez 2014“Today was a challenging day as there were a few issues which we weren’t fully able to amend, but I am pleased that I was still able to qualify inside the top ten again, and will be able to start on the third row despite our problems. During the free practice sessions here, I have spent time trying to solve the issue of the bike‘s feeling at the beginning of a race, and also my riding position. I concentrated on finding a solution, and rode with a full fuel load to try to test this situation. The crash yesterday didn’t help anything at all, and with the contrasting conditions of the track, all of the data we collected wasn’t very useful. Now we need to concentrate on a setup for tomorrow. My race pace is good, and I feel optimistic about a good result this weekend.”

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