Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro both feel the team are well placed ahead of the new MotoGP with one day of testing to go. Smith was marginally the quicker of the two on Sunday night, finishing in eighth spot, and says he is now focusing on the smaller details in his attempts to get every last tenth of a second out of his YZR-M1.
“We had a really busy day today as we had to work through a long check list that we were given by Yamaha and the task was to confirm different ideas, both positive as well as lesser ones. Sometimes when you do these kind of tests you feel as if you are losing some time, but actually it’s very important as you might discover a modification which may help in the future. I’m happy the pace was there today and I was able to improve my lap time from yesterday. I managed to save one set of tyres which will enable us to do a long run tomorrow as well as my practice sessions, so now I need a good rest and I will then go for it again. I believe my bike is 95% there, we may just need to improve the balance of the Yamaha a little bit in order to have even more corner speed which is our main strength, but all in all I’m pleased.”
After struggling on day one, Espargaro climbed to ninth on Sunday and was relieved with his competitiveness relative to the factory Yamaha riders.
“Today has been much more positive than yesterday because we were able to solve the issue with the front tyre which we were struggling with on day 1. In addition, we manage to work through our testing schedule where we evaluated several settings that we were not able to try at Sepang 2. As soon as we put in the second tyre option from Bridgestone at the beginning of the session, my confidence with the front of the bike improved a lot and the adjustments we made afterwards increased it even more. Later on, we worked mainly on electronic setups such as the anti-wheelie and I’m really pleased with how the day went. Even though we didn’t concentrate on the lap time at all, it’s nice to see that the other Yamahas are less than two tenths away which means we did a good job today and I can’t wait to get back on the bike tomorrow afternoon.”