Smith Sets Scorching Pace on Friday at Le Mans


Bradley Smith gave Monster Yamaha Tech 3 the dream start to their home Grand Prix by setting the fastest time in Friday practice ahead of the French Grand Prix. The Briton lapped quicker than Marc Marquez’s current circuit record to top the standings, leading the in-form Jorge Lorenzo and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Looking to bounce back from the disappointment of Jerez, Dovizioso set a brisk pace in the morning session and immediately improved on his own benchmark early in FP2. Within minutes, the Italian had been replaced at the top of the leaderboard by Lorenzo’s Yamaha and as the field focussed on race preparation, it looked as though Jorge’s time wouldn’t be beaten.

That all changed with five minutes remaining though as Smith embarked on his final run, first climbing above Marquez into third, before clocking a 1:33.179 next time around to pull out two tenths on Lorenzo. His place at the top of the standings looked under threat two minutes from time when the Oxfordshire rider tumbled at the final corner although several others were also having issues, including the Espargaro brothers, and he remained unbeaten.

Lorenzo and Dovizioso completed the top three with Cal Crutchlow edging out Marquez for fourth while Valentino Rossi finished sixth, 0.016s down on his chief title rival. The returning Dani Pedrosa was back on the pace in seventh ahead of Pol Espargaro on the second Tech 3 Yamaha and Aleix Espargaro on the leading Suzuki.

 

2015 MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE – FRIDAY CLASSIFICATION

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
138. Bradley SmithYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:33.179
299. Jorge LorenzoYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:33.369
34. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:33.553
435. Cal CrutchlowHondaCWM LCR Honda1:33.652
593. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:33.670
646. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:33.686
726. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:33.725
844. Pol EspargaroYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:33.903
941. Aleix EspargaroSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:33.944
1068. Yonny HernandezDucatiPramac Racing1:33.953
1129. Andrea IannoneDucatiDucati Team1:34.092
1225. Maverick VinalesSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:34.110
1343. Jack MillerHondaCWM LCR Honda1:34.253
1445. Scott ReddingHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS1:34.371
156. Stefan BradlYamaha ForwardAthina Forward Racing1:34.543
169. Danilo PetrucciDucatiPramac Racing1:34.568
1769. Nicky HaydenHondaAspar MotoGP Team1:34.663
188. Hector BarberaDucatiAvintia Racing1:34.745
1976. Loris BazYamaha ForwardAthina Forward Racing1:35.002
2063. Mike Di MeglioDucatiAvintia Racing1:35.067
2117. Karel AbrahamHondaAB Motoracing1:35.090
2219. Alvaro BautistaApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:35.137
2350. Eugene LavertyHondaAspar MotoGP Team1:35.182
2415. Alex de AngelisARTOcto IodaRacing Team1:35.802
2533. Marco MelandriApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:36.056