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Jun 01, 2014 - 03:35 PM
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Espargaro Shines As Leading Satellite Bike With 5th In Mugello
Posted by: newsla on Jun 01, 2014 - 03:30 PM
MotoGP
Espargaro Shines As Leading Satellite Bike With 5th In Mugello


Pol Espargaro today delivered another impressive performance at the legendary Mugello circuit in Tuscany by riding to a well calculated and expertly executed 5th position for round 6 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship. The reigning Moto2 World champion began the challenge from 5th place on the grid and found himself in the leading group, maintaining the same position for the opening laps. As he set into his increasingly confident race pace, the Spaniard kept fighting with vastly more experienced riders such as Andrea Dovisioso and Dani Pedrosa. Honda rider Pedrosa eventually overtook Espargaro, before the rookie remained calm and seized 5th position back by passing Andrea Iannone on lap 18. He then put his head down and put in a series of consistent lap times to ensure that the chasing Dovisioso could not threaten him. Espargaro’s determined efforts saw him cross the line as the leading satellite rider and only a second and a half back from Dani Pedrosa’s 4th position. The 22-year-old’s 5th place at Mugello elevates him to 6th position in the point standings and sees him as leading non-factory MotoGP rider so far in the 2014 Championship.

 

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Bradley Smith’s weekend full of promise ended prematurely with an unfortunate crash during the second lap of the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM Grand Prix at Mugello. Having made strides forward during the qualifying and free practice sessions with the Yamaha YZR-M1 that he is increasingly confident with, Smith pulled off a positive qualifying performance of 7th. Here he was in prime contention to confidently battle for the top five and upwards. Yet, after starting the Grand Prix and ending the first lap in 9th Smith’s luck ran out and he fell, drawing a disappointing end to an otherwise highly positive weekend. The 23 year old will head to Catalunya next week where he will intend to amend his lack of fortune at Mugello with a high scoring finish.

Pol Espargaro Pol Espargaro

Race : 5th Championship : 6th Points : 49

Espargaro - Mugello - 2014“Obviously I have to be really happy with today’s result. We managed to finish ‘best of the rest’ just behind the four factory bikes which is a great achievement. I struggled a lot to pass the Ducati of Iannone so unfortunately Dani was already too far ahead and even if I tried to catch him I could not close the gap completely. But I think altogether we really have to be proud of the work done so far, especially considering how the weekend went with two crashes and one session less due to the weather on Friday. The team did a great job and I really want to thank them as we were able to repeat the result from Le Mans. Now we will head full of confidence to my home race in Catalunya where I will give it my all to be even closer to the front than today.”

Bradley Smith Bradley Smith

Race : DNF Championship : 10th Points : 34

Smith - Mugello - 2014"I would love to have something more to say, but I think it was just a case of having the wrong tyre. I was using the hard compound in the front that we had previously ran in FP3 and which made me crash after doing a mistake at the last corner. Therefore, the initial feedback was not that great and I much preferred the soft option but as the track conditions were quite hot today we were recommended the use to the hard tyre like everyone else, so we followed the suggestion. Unfortunately though I’m not used to that tyre on this track and also, I felt like it didn’t work with my riding style. The front tucked at the Arrabbiata 1 which was turn 8 but in all honesty there wasn’t much I could do about it. It’s very frustrating as I had the race pace to get a really good result but from the first lap I could feel that things weren't going to plan. Now we will wait for Barcelona where I am confident that everything will improve.”

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