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Smith fastest Yamaha man despite crash

Smith fastest Yamaha man despite crash

Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith completed a busy first day at Le Mans to cement himself as Friday’s leading Yamaha rider.

At his team’s home round the Briton bounced back from a crash in FP1 in the afternoon, remaining resolute after undertaking some key alterations to his Yamaha YZR-M1.

Smith eventually found a comfortable setup which gave him the confidence to post a best lap of 1’33.920. That time was a significant improvement from his best lap in first free practice, and was less than half a second from the leading bike of Marc Marquez.

After finishing the day fourth overall Smith commented, “Having started the day in a less than ideal way, I am really pleased with what we managed to achieve this afternoon. I am feeling very happy with the bike now, as due to some of the issues we have experienced recently we decided to divert back to what I was using in Qatar. Therefore, I am confident and I know that I can go fast with it.”

The rider from Oxfordshire added, "At the same time, I am slightly disappointed that we couldn’t succeed with our experimentation, but I am excited to continue in this manner during the next sessions. Tomorrow the plan is to fine-tune the setup and then try my best in qualifying to get as high up the grid as I can.”

His rookie teammate Pol Espargaro, meanwhile, proceeded to gather more valuable experience in only his fifth GP in the premier class, and shaved off 0.4s from his best time set in FP1. The reigning Moto2™ World Champion guided his Yamaha YZR-M1 around the stop and go Le Mans circuit, to eventually place 11th.

“All in all it has been a positive day,” said the Spaniard. “This morning we had a really good start and after FP2, I have to say that I’m satisfied with our rhythm as we used the same front tyre for the whole session, and were still able to improve our lap time at the end. We tried different geometric modification on the bike, but not everything went according to plan. So therefore, we went back to our setting from this morning and were able to improve again.”

MotoGP, 2014, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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