Smith concludes Sepang 2 in top form . . Yamaha Tech 3 Press Release
Bradley Smith completed the final day of testing at the Sepang International circuit with a confident and notable run to 6th in the combined standings, as he made his MotoGP rivals clear of his intentions for the 2015 season. The British rider had been meticulously testing the 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1 across the three days in Malaysia as he made the necessary changes to the setup in preparation for the all important season opener in Qatar at the end of March. After making the setup adjustments, Smith launched into a hot run today and clocked a best time of 1’59.883 on his 9th lap, expertly dipping below the exclusive 2-minute bracket. This time was a cut of almost a second and a half from his opening performance on Monday and even more impressively, he was only two tenths back from third position in what was a superb and high flying close to the test, after completing 41 laps on the final day.
Meanwhile Pol Espargaro rounded off the Sepang 2 test by finishing in 11th position in the standings after a determined effort on the final day, despite a crash in the morning which disrupted his plans. However, the young Spaniard posted a best time of 2’00.490 on his 13th lap, as he undertook a total of 37 in the searing heat of Malaysia. This result was an improvement of four tenths of second from day one and the young Spaniard powered onwards to post 126 laps across the three days. The 2013 Moto2 world champion now looks optimistically towards the next test in Qatar on the 14th-16th of March for the final test outing before the 18 race MotoGP season gets into full swing.
Position : 6th Time : 1’59.883 Laps : 41
“It was a good final day for me, especially to finish in the top 6. The team and I had more or less completed all of our test plans yesterday, but there were a few small things we needed to try today with the electronics and the clutch. So we tested three different ideas, with two of them being definitely an improvement. It’s these little changes that can make a different in the race. I am pleased to say that I did a 1’59 lap time, which was my objective for this test and it’s positive that I could achieve this. The bike now has a very good base setup, so next we will go to Qatar which is a completely different track and see if we can use the base setup we made here, at Losail. All in all, it was a good test. We’re close to being the top satellite bike but Cal is a bit faster, however our pace has been competitive and I am happy with the job the team and I have done here.”
Position : 11th Time : 2’00.490 Laps : 37
“Today was a bit of a tricky day for me. The feeling I had when I first went out on track was good and I was sure of having a positive day. I had just put on a new tyre to go for a fast lap time, but I was disrupted by a slow rider on track. I had to pass him with a quite risky move and unfortunately I ended up crashing. This was at the worst possible time because it was when the track was perfect in terms of temperature. Because bike 1 needed repairing, I went out on the second bike, but any chance of improving didn’t come easily for me and I had to stop shortly after because the track was so hot that the conditions were difficult to ride on. Once things had cooled down, we had some technical issues that slowed us again and after everything, there was only half an hour right at the end of the day where I could ride again. Having said that, after falling in the morning, I did not want to push too hard and end up worse, so we limited ourselves to ensuring that everything was working properly again without pushing. It’s a big shame that we weren’t able to finish our test schedule as we had planned. Anyway, next up is Qatar and we are equipped with lots of information and ideas for improvements after 5 days in Sepang, plus I am eager to roll on to another circuit, although there is still one more day of testing here, where we will test the 2016 Michelin tyres.”