Moto2

Bradley Smith makes solid Tech3 Moto2 debut

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The Tech 3 Racing Moto2 squad kicked off its 2011 winter testing schedule today with Bradley Smith and Mike di Meglio taking to the track at a chilly Valencia.

Grey skies and cool temperatures greeted the paddock this morning and when the sun finally did breakthrough, the afternoon session was dominated by a fierce wind that made conditions from ideal.

Fresh from his fantastic victory in the Valencia 125cc race yesterday, Smith began his Moto2 adventure brimming with confidence and he quickly struck up an excellent understanding with experienced new crew chief Tom Jojic.

The 19-year-old was able to immediately lap at a consistent and fast pace, the British rider making only minor set-up tweaks to help him adapt to the heavier and more powerful Moto2 machine. His enthusiasm to gain vital information saw him complete an incredible stint of 90 laps and he set a best time of 1.38.70.

"What an amazing day and it was great to finally get to work with the Tech 3 Racing Team," Smith beamed.

"They are a really professional outfit and I was immediately able to strike up a good rapport with Tom and the guys. Today was all about getting confident and comfortable on the bike and learning as much as I can. Obviously we've got a long way to go but it feels like we've done so much already in such a short space of time. Coming straight off the 125 yesterday, the difference with the power and weight was pretty big but I adapted to the bike pretty fast. I got myself into a ballpark area with the times but finding that next one or two seconds is when it becomes a lot more difficult. But I am really happy with the way the test went and can't wait until I'm back out on the bike again."

French rider Mike di Meglio was also impressive on his Tech 3 Racing Team debut. He already has experience of the competitive Moto2 class and was able to give the team an interesting comparison against the bike he rode in 2010. He completed 35 laps and set a best time of 1.38.30.

"This was my first test with the Tech 3 Racing Team and it was an amazing experience to finally work with them," di Meglio said. "I am very happy with my initial feeling with the bike and I can see it has a lot of potential. I am already sure we have an exciting 2011 ahead of us. Today was quite difficult because when I was out on track it was very windy and didn't help the lap times at all, but we were able to do some work on the set-up of the bike that helped make me feel comfortable quite quickly. I already feel at home with the Tech 3 Racing Team and I'm looking forward to the next time we are on track."

The Tech 3 Racing Team also used today's test session to benefit from the vast experience of American MotoGP rider Colin Edwards. The 36-year-old offered his expertise to give his feedback on the 2011 machine.

Edwards completed 54 laps and was able to give the Tech 3 Racing crew vital information to help with further development of the 2011 bike in the winter.

"It has been a long time since I rode a 600," Edwards said. "Maybe it was back in Daytona in 1994 but today was a lot of fun and I hope the team got a lot of useful informa tion out of it. It was my idea to help them out and try and give them some pointers for the 2011 bike and I'm sure they appreciated a different perspective.

"Bradley is obviously new to Moto2 and Mike is coming off a difficult season, so it was worthwhile me just trying to give them some of my experience and input. All I did was work on a lot of spring rates rather go out to push for a quick lap. I didn't go out to set the world on fire and I've ridden a MotoGP bike for so long that anything was going to feel pretty strange. But I adapted to the style within about 25 laps and the times came down and I got much smoother. It was an entertaining experience and a useful exercise for the crew," Edwards concluded.

Main Photo: Bradley Smith comes to grips with his Tech3 Moto2 machine FIM Moto2 - Valencia, Spain -Nov 8, 2010 - Unofficial Test Times:
1. Julian Simon, 1:36.70
2. Stefan Bradl, 1:36.70
3. Scott Redding, 1:36.90
4. Yuki Takahashi, 1:37.02
5. Alex de Angelis, 1:37.10
6. Thomas Luthi, 1:37.20
7. Kenan Sofuoglu, 1:37.40
8. Aleix Espargaro, 1:37.40
9. Michelle Pirro, 1:37.68
10. Dominique Aegerter, 1:37.80
11. Jules Cluzel, 1:37.80
12. Yonny Hernandez, 1:37.80
13. Xavier Simeon, 1:37.90
14. Tito Rabat, 1:38.00
15. Kenny Noyes, 1:38.20
16. Mike Di Meglio, 1:38.30
17. Andrea Iannone, 1:38.30
18. Rafaelle Da Rosa, 1:38.50
19. Lukas Pesek, 1:38.50
20. Colin Edwards, 1:38.70
21. Bradley Smith, 1:38.70
22. Max Neukirchner, 1:38.80
23. Anthony West, 1:39.00
24. Andrea Boscocuro, 1:39.10
25. Gabor Talmacsi, 1:39.20
26. Arne Todt, 1:39.30
27. Mika Kallio, 1:39.90
28. Pol Espargaro, 1:40.19
29. Jannick Guerra, 1:40.30
30. Alex Baldolini, 1:40.50
31. Jonas Folger, 1:41.50

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