Moto GP

Bradley Smith Tops Catalunya Test

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Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith followed up his hard fought 5th place finish at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya by finishing at the top of the pile in the post race MotoGP test.

The young British rider tested various settings for the front end of his Yamaha YZR-M1 in order to combat the lack of grip which he has experienced at some of the previous rounds. Smith undertook 18 laps in total before midday and posted a best time of 1'42.018.

However, torrential rain then fell at the circuit, drawing a premature close to the test. Nevertheless, his performance left him 0.051 ahead of the next rider and sees him fully confident of riding to another top result at the Motul TT Assen.

"Today was a really interesting test for us and I'm pleased with the outcome." Smith said. "It was very short at just 18 laps, but I knew that I had to get out on track early because we were aware that the rain was coming in the afternoon.

"In total, we did four runs and we were able to analyse some different settings for the front suspension which enabled us to get a bit more feeling and stability. All three solutions were positive so this means that we have a good base to start from in the future.

"We completed 90% of our work today as we weren't expecting a long test. Altogether, we had five or six runs planned and in the end, I ran four so we didn't miss out on a lot. The lap time was ok considering the cooler track temperature this morning, but I feel happy that we've made a good step forward and I can't wait for the Motul TT Assen next week."

Pol Espargaro finished the post Catalunya Grand Prix test in 8th position after experimenting with the balance and the riding position on his Yamaha YZR-M1.

The Spaniard, who unfortunately fell during his home Grand Prix yesterday, got straight to work and rode 18 laps this morning before the thunderstorms interrupted the session. He set his fastest lap on his 8th which was a 1'42.637 leaving him in 8th and six tenths of a second back from his teammate who topped the standings.

Despite the weather causing an early finish for the 24 year old rider, he remains confident of clinching success at the next race in the Netherlands at the legendary Assen circuit.

"We wanted to try a few different setup options and today should have been a very imporant day, but unfortunately the rain prevented us from making a lot a progress." Espargaro explained. "I only rode 18 laps and it started raining quite early so in the end, we just had time to experiment with the height of the bike and the riding position.

"Yet, due to the lack of track time, the results are inconclusive for now as we couldn't evaluate it fully and on a new set of tyres. Furthermore, there wasn't enough time to get into a good rhythm to see how the changes affected the bike over a number of laps.

"Therefore, we are leaving here a bit dissatisfied, as today should have been vital to test after the tricky weekend we had. However, we will improve in Assen where I intend to bounce back strongly," he concluded.

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