Smith Makes Steady Progress At Sepang


Bradley Smith declared himself happy with his first test day of 2014 despite finishing tenth fastest in Kuala Lumpur. The Briton spent the day experimenting with the settings on his Yamaha YZR-M1, fitted with the new spec ECU hardware, and is confident that he is heading in the right direction with the motorcycle.

“First of all it has been a big pleasure to be back on track and I have to admit that especially after the promising result in Valencia the winter season felt really long and I was definitely looking forward to be back on the bike. All in all the day has been positive. Physically I felt much better than last year at this stage, so I’m happy my training seems to have paid off. I also feel very comfortable with the set-up of the bike but due to the regulation changes the electronic system is different and we spent the whole day working on it, to make the bike feel it bit more like mine. In generally I’m really happy with how we started today, the majority of my laps was faster than last year as we did a lot of 2.01’s, but we clearly have to improve during the next two days as the gap to Jorge and Valentino is quite big”.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Pol Espargaro was just ahead in ninth and the Moto2 champion was taken aback by the physical demands of riding the YZR-M1 in the Malaysian heat.

“It has been emotional today to be back on the bike and I’m really happy with how we kicked of the preparations to my first MotoGP season. Of course at this stage, my main aim has to be to learn as much as possible about the Yamaha YZF M1 and not to push it to its absolute limit. Compared to Valencia, I found it more difficult to find the right line on this track as everything is bigger and wider. But my gap to the fastest rider is similar to Valencia and the track is 1,5km longer so I have to be happy with the progress we made. For tomorrow, I really hope that it’s not as hot as today as the conditions are really demanding and especially with the bigger bike it’s hard to keep the concentration always at its maximum. I will continue trying different set up and electronic solutions with the aim to reduce to gap to front steadily”.