Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro launched into his testing programme today during the first day of track action after the Valencia GP as the 2016 season preparations got underway. The young Spanish rider focused on sampling the new Michelin tyres and then set about exploring setup options on his MotoGP bike. At the close of the day, his best time was just under three-tenths from third and left him in 7th as he now confidently looks forward to riding his updated 2015 Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time tomorrow in the final day of track action this year.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith continued the positive momentum from his impressive 2015 season where he finished 6th in the standings as he started to get to grips with the new Michelin tyres. Similarly to this teammate, the Briton took steps forward in modifying the base setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1 to suit the French tyre manufacturer. The 24 year old rider’s best time was just 0.060 back from his teammate and left him in 8th. He now aims to make further advances tomorrow after a tireless effort today.
|Position : 7th
|Time : 1’37.937
|Laps : 40
|“All in all it has been quite a positive first day as the lap times of the whole field were competitive compared to this weekend’s times. Yet, there were a lot of crashes as we are all trying to adapt and we can’t expect everything to be perfect as soon as we start. However, I’m happy that we have another day of testing as we need to progress and try more options so that I will have a better feeling before we head into the winter break. I know that Michelin are working hard to improve the front tyre, which is the main issue at the moment, but I must also say that the rear compound is already really good. We have my new bike for 2016, which is the Factory Yamaha’s bike from this season that I will finally ride tomorrow and therefore, I’m fired up to close the test in a positive manner.”
|Position : 8th
|Time : 1’37.997
|Laps : 67
“Day one has been completed here in Valencia and I feel that we had a really productive time. It goes without saying that for everyone today, the circumstances were new as we were all using Michelin tyres. Yet, from the information that we already had from Malaysia and Aragon, we were in a better situation to start from. I began this morning with this year’s bike and we worked to find a base setting in order to try and explore the potential of the tyres as much as possible. For my final run, we sampled my 2016 bike which we will really start to work with tomorrow in order to understand it’s capabilities as five laps was just a small appetiser of what is to come. It’s very early stages but we can already see that we have a bike for next year with more potential as I ran similar lap times on both versions. I am confident in saying that we are heading in the right direction and we have a clear development plan that we want to continue to test. So, I am happy with the work from myself and also from the team and I look forward to getting back on track tomorrow.”