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Riders were back on track for the first time in 2016, Pol Espargaro eager to continue improving in the coming days.
For the first time since Valencia in 2015, Pol Espargaro was able to ride his Monster Yamaha Tech YZR-M1 as the MotoGP™ grid gathered in Sepang for the first test of 2016. It was a steady start to the three day event for the satellite Yamaha rider, a 2’02.646 placing him 12th overall and almost half a second clear of teammate Bradley Smith. Despite being some distance from the factory Yamaha riders, Espargaro is confident he and his team can close the gap in the following two days. Unlike many other riders and teams, this was Espargaro’s first time using the new spec software with the Michelin tyres.
Pol Espargaro: “It has been a constructive start to the year. When looking at the time sheet it’s easy to see that we did not achieve anything special, but I can’t hide that my feelings are positive. We were able to try the new electronics for the first time and I am glad to say that it’s much better than we expected after what we heard from other people. Of course, we are quite far behind the other manufacturers and also Yamaha Factory, but I’m convinced that there is a huge margin of improvement to make which can do and the most important thing is that I like how I now have to ride the bike. It goes without saying that it will take us some time to make up the ground and also because we have less engineers than a factory team, but I’m confident that the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team will do a good job.
“Also the new Michelin front tyres were a positive aspect of the day and you can really feel that they worked a lot on them. We had several front compounds today which all performed well and were absolutely safe. Beside the encouraging technical news, I’m also very pleased that my physical condition seems to be very strong, because even though we rode quite a lot of laps, I do not feel particularly tired. Of course, there are some muscles which we haven’t used since Valencia and for sure the hardest moments are yet to come, with getting up tomorrow morning being crucial, but already, I can’t wait to get back on my Yamaha. Today flew by and we still have a lot of things to test, so we’ll be ready as soon as the light turns green in the morning.”
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