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Jun 13, 2014 - 03:21 PM
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Smith Strikes Gold In Afternoon On The Opening Day In Montmelo
Posted by: newsla on Jun 13, 2014 - 03:17 PM
MotoGP
Smith Strikes Gold In Afternoon On The Opening Day In Montmelo


Bradley Smith kicked off proceedings in spectacular style with a dominant ride to 1st position in FP2 on the opening day at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. After beginning his weekend with a best time of 1.43,718 in this morning’s FP1 session, Smith knuckled down with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team to continue his setup research from Mugello during the afternoon before expertly clinching 1st at the end of the session under gloriously sunny conditions. The 23 year old completed a colossal 20 laps and his relentless efforts were rewarded with a 1.42,123 lap time which boosted him from 12th to 1st in the final five minutes of the session. His pace in FP2 saw him 0.151 of a second ahead of championship leader Marc Marquez and is also already an improvement of almost half a second from his qualifying time last year. Tomorrow, the young British rider will aim to continue from his superb start today by gunning for a top grid position in qualifying.

 

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Local hero Pol Espargaro began his home GP at the Monster Energy sponsored Catalunya circuit in a forward and positive manner by soaring to 8th in the combined standings today. He enters this race brimming with confidence having clinched top five results in the past two races and looks set to continue his impressive rookie form. Espargaro began the opening FP1 session with a best time of 1.43,001, in 10th position but proceeded to fight ambitiously to lower his time by four tenths of a second before finishing with a lap time of 1.42,608 equalling 5th. The young Spaniard’s result was under half a second back from his team mate and ahead of numerous vastly experienced riders as the reigning Moto2 world champion optimistically looks towards tomorrow’s qualifying session where he will be aiming for a top six start for Sunday’s race.

Bradley Smith Bradley Smith
Position : 2nd Time :1'42.123 Lap : 41
Smith - Catalunya - 2014"To finish in 1st in FP2 is certainly great. I am pleased as we undertook some key work in Mugello and the results are shining through here as well. The setting is very positive with the bike although I wasn’t able to show it last time unfortunately. The main thing we looked at today was the front contact, the turning of the bike as well as front tyre choices. There are still a few areas we need to make some small adjustments on such as the balance and how it behaves in sector 4 of the circuit which is a bit tough. Overall, I feel confident and happier plus I enjoy Barcelona as I run strongly here. It’s been a tricky few races but we have always worked hard and now I aim to keep this positive momentum for this weekend and the next few MotoGP races and continue to try my best."

Pol Espargaro Pol Espargaro
Position : 8th

Time : 1'42.608 Lap : 38
Espargaro - Catalunya - 2014"I believe we can be satisfied with our performance today. The first sessions are always tricky for us as I need to understand the lines and get the feeling of how to ride a MotoGP bike on the track and especially here it has been an emotional start, as its just so close from where I have grown up. But finishing 5th this afternoon, whilst improving our lap times also with the hotter conditions, is really positive and gives me a lot of confidence for tomorrow. It goes without saying that we still have a margin to improve and also Bradley doing such a great job during the second session which proves that we can definitely go faster, but we will check the data now to understand what we need to change to be even more competitive tomorrow."

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