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Solid start for Tech3 pair under Losail floodlights

Solid start for Tech3 pair under Losail floodlights

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro continued their good preseason on Friday at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Smith’s tireless efforts saw him established as the second quickest rider, after he completed 53 laps of the circuit, and sent a reminder to the top MotoGP riders of his intentions this season.

Although the track initially lacked traction, it later cleared and the grip improved. This allowed the young British rider to complete today’s session with a fastest lap of 1’55.639 which was 0.253 of a second off the leading time.

"Today was a good day. I am happy that the base setup worked immediately here, which means we did a good job in Sepang and so, we didn’t have to make many changes," Smith stated. "It was a bit frustrating to be fastest for nearly the whole day, and then getting passed so close to the end, but there are still two days to go. Tomorrow we will try bike 1 and bike 2 and make a few more changes. I will definitely do the race simulation on the last day, and possibly another one tomorrow too."

Reigning Moto2™ World Champion Espargaro again furthered his impressive transition from the intermediate class to the top category. Completing 62 laps, the young Spanish rider worked relentlessly, getting as much track time as possible before the opening round later this month. Having only ridden the Yamaha YZR-M1 at Sepang this year, the change of location to Qatar and the cooler conditions allowed him to expand his knowledge of the MotoGP bike and ride more comfortably.

Espargaro set a best time of 1:56.072, and finished the session in 3rd place, only 0.686 of a second off the quickest lap time.

He reflected, "I am very happy with how today went, as it was my first time here on a MotoGP bike. I am pleased to be riding somewhere other than Sepang, as it allows me to explore the bike more. There is still a lot to learn, and the main aim during the next 2 days is to make me ride a bit smoother as this is how the Yamaha goes fast."

MotoGP, 2014, Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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