Bradley Smith is already looking forward to the 2014 MotoGP season after testing an updated Yamaha YZR-M1 on Tuesday at Valencia. The Briton tested a factory-spec chassis, seat unit and fuel tank and immediately enjoyed the benefit, finishing sixth fastest, and is planning to make further progress tomorrow.
“It was definitely worth taking a rest yesterday because I had to do a lot of laps today and now my brain is full of information after a very positive day. It was important for me to ride a lot to really assess the new parts in such ideal conditions. Immediately the updates gave a great feeling. I did a few laps on the bike I raced on Sunday to start with but on my first run on the new bike I was instantly faster and felt more comfortable in the areas where I have been struggling all season. I got a lot of feedback from the bike and I was clearly faster on the harder tyre, which was not easy for me during the race weekend. My feelings with the rear improved and the bike stops better on a full fuel tank, so I am really satisfied. I am closer to the top position too, which is another big plus for me. We will try some different settings tomorrow but already this new package makes me very excited and optimistic for 2014.”
Tech 3 teammate Pol Espargaro had another impressive day on board his Yamaha, finishing less than half a second behind Smith in ninth, and the Moto2 champion is enjoying the new machinery at his disposal.
“I’m really happy with the progress we made today and enthusiastic because I thought my first impressions on the bike would be worse, as it was the case when I changed from 125cc to Moto2. Fortunately I truly enjoy riding my new Yamaha YZR-M1. I know that the difficulties of improving my lap time will start soon but I think we have done a pretty good job so far. I was 1.3s faster than yesterday and that is just one second behind Jorge, who is my reference point as fastest Yamaha. Today I started to use different Bridgestone front and rear tyres to understand the behaviour of them and I used the full carbon brakes, which are so different from what I have used before. I hope it will not rain tomorrow, as I really would like to collect some more information with the bike before going into the winter break.”