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Aug 15, 2014 - 06:05 PM
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Espargaro And Smith Blaze Through Mixed Conditions On 1st Day At Brno
Posted by: newsla on Aug 15, 2014 - 06:04 PM
MotoGP
Espargaro And Smith Blaze Through Mixed Conditions On 1st Day At Brno


Rookie Pol Espargaro opened his inaugural MotoGP account in the Czech Republic with a positive finish on the opening day of practice at Brno for the 11th round of the 2014 World Championship. He kicked off his free practice campaign by initially leading the bright and sunny FP1 session, before eventually finishing in 9th position with a time of 1’57.634 that was only eight tenths of a second from the top position. Around midday the clouds rolled over the undulating Czech circuit which is hosting it’s 27th MotoGP event this weekend and the rain proceeded to fall as soon as the afternoon practice session began. Yet Espargaro powered through the tricky conditions before finishing with a best time of 2’09.412 in 8th position and additionally clinched the overall top speed of the session with 306.9 km/h. The reigning Moto2 World Champion will aim for a strong result in qualifying tomorrow in view to Sunday’s race as he plans to further build on his current, impressive placement of 6th in the World championship.

 

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On the other side of the garage, Bradley Smith ended the opening day of practice in 10th position in the combined standings after the rain in the afternoon prevented him of beating his morning practice time. The young British rider who has extended his contract for an additional year with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 squad after the announcement earlier this week, began the opening day of practice with a best lap of 1’57.816 having experimented with various aspects of his Yamaha YZR-M1 as he sought to establish a solid setup. In the afternoon session, the 23 year old rider braved the slippery track surface at the 5403 metre circuit to finish in 9th with a best time of 2’09.722. His pace in the tricky conditions was highly impressive, clocking the quickest sector times out of all the Yamaha MotoGP bikes in the first half of the circuit whilst his perseverance saw him riding the most, with 15 laps undertaken. Tomorrow he will look to qualify on the front two rows following his hard fought 6th place finish in Indianapolis.

Pol Espargaro
Position : 9th

Time : 1'57.634 Laps : 33
Espargaro - Brno - 2014"It has been quite an eventful first day here in Brno and we collected a lot of useful information for the weekend. This afternoon has been the first time that we could test the bike in full wet conditions and the truth is that I'm really happy about how the session went. The grip with the rain tyres is amazing and I nearly touched the group with my elbow even though it was wet! I have to thank Bradley because I did many laps behind him and I learnt a lot about the line and how smooth I have to ride with the wet surface by following him. I rode some competitive lap times and the rhythm was consistent as well, so of course there is room to improve but we have started in a positive fashion. During this morning's session, I was probably riding a bit too aggressively and in a way that the Yamaha should not be ridden around this track so I think we can certainly be much faster. Moreover we have struggled in a few areas, for example at the exit of the corner where the bike is sliding quite a lot and overall I'm lacking a bit of grip at the moment, but for sure we can resolve this issue for tomorrow. During FP2 we actually planned to try the harder tyre compound which I felt very confident with in Indianapolis but the session turned out to be a wet one, so we will have to wait until tomorrow."

Bradley Smith
Position : 10th Time : 1'57.816 Laps : 31
Smith - Brno - 2014"All in all it was a good day for me today, even though the conditions were mixed. Overall, I’d say that we have been lucky with the weather so far this year, but we must always expect the rain to come at some point as it did today. In the morning I tried both bikes and we now have a very clear direction of which way we want to go in terms of a dry setup as I was clearly able to undertake a much quicker pace in the final run this morning, so we will continue with this setup. In the afternoon session I was instantly comfortable on the wet surface and my lap times were comparable to the other riders who stayed out for nearly 30 minutes. The track eventually started to dry and I didn’t push right on the limit straight away as the aim was just to obtain some more valuable data. This is especially useful as it looks like there will be more mixed conditions tomorrow, but overall I am pleased with what we achieved today."



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