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May 31, 2014 - 04:21 PM
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Promising Top 5 Qualifying For Espargaro In The Tuscan Hills
Posted by: newsla on May 31, 2014 - 04:18 PM
Promising Top 5 Qualifying For Espargaro In The Tuscan Hills

Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Espargaro rode to another inspired qualifying performance and will start the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM from 5th position despite a late fall in Qualifying 2. The Spanish rider was immediately up to pace during this morning’s free practice session and comfortably set a best time of 1.48,373 which saw him finish 8th, progressing straight through to the second qualifying slot for the fifth time in just his sixth MotoGP race. His knowledge and confidence around the fast and technical 5245 metre Mugello circuit grew with every single lap, which was important due to the loss of time because of the weather conditions in FP2 yesterday and he dug deep in Q2, attacking immediately. His first run ensured the Spanish rookie’s best personal time of 1.47,612min was enough to cement a start on the second row with his impressive performance only 0.342 from pole position. Afterwards the reigning Moto2 World Champion unluckily paid for his inexperience with a fall while going out for his second run, which prevented Espargaro from lowering his lap time anymore. Nevertheless the young Spaniard remains confident to battle for another high scoring points finish during tomorrow’s premier class race.


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His teammate Bradley Smith produced a resolute display to guide his Yamaha YZR-M1 around the 13 corners of the Mugello circuit to score 7th place on the grid for tomorrow’s 23-lap sprint. Having made progress in terms of building a confidence boosting setup this week with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team, the British rider progressed further by aggressively riding to a best time of 1.47,618 in Q2, over a second quicker than his qualifying time from last year. Additionally with the pole position time being quicker last year, Smith’s best lap today was much closer to the front in comparison to the competition highlighting his leap in improvement with both performance and knowledge this season. In addition, it was only four tenths of a second off pole with the top twelve MotoGP riders being covered by under a second. The 23-year-old British rider remains optimistic in his race ability aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 as he aims to be the fastest satellite rider in tomorrow’s race.

Pol Espargaro Pol Espargaro

Position : 5th Time : 1'47.612 Laps : 4

Espargaro - Mugello - 2014“I am pretty happy with P5 but at the same time I think we were a little lucky that nobody beat my lap time after I fell off. I really wanted to improve so to fall and be unable to is a bit disappointing. Our performance today was good and I am sure that we could have gone faster even by just a few milliseconds as it was so tight at the top, so just a small gain could have moved us up. With regards to fall it was a rookie crash as I was too keen to get going and ride fast a bit too fast on the new tyres which were cold. I pushed a little to warm them up but then fell at the fast corner. Still I am pleased to be on the second row in 5th position as I feel this is another important qualifying result for me. I feel comfortable with the bike and together with the team we are building my own Yamaha. Also, I am still recovering in confidence since the injury at Qatar but overall am feeling quite happy. Tomorrow will be a difficult race for sure especially at the start but I feel good with the bike so I look forward to a positive race.”

Bradley Smith Bradley Smith

Position : 7th Time : 1'47.681 Laps : 8

Smith - Mugello - 2014"I am pleased with my qualifying performances today and especially this morning’s FP3 session where I had a great feeling on the bike and some positive work was undertaken. In FP4 we weren’t as competitive from the word go as we would have liked to have been due to the changing nature of the track which required us to alter the bike to accustom it to the changing grip and temperature. The Tech3 team have a done a great job especially with qualifying and after we changed the setting, the bike felt good straight away giving me the confidence to run in the 47’s comfortably. I still need to improve in the third sector of the track especially Arrabbiata 1 and 2 but feel very comfortable with how the bike is in the first two sectors of the track. We need to make a good setting for sector three but on the whole I am happy to be competitive and back riding a bike I enjoy and understand, so I am excited for the race tomorrow.”

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