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Austin MotoGP: Smith 'refocuses', Pol Espargaro 'stronger'

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro eager to erase Qatar disappointment.
After a failing to finish the Qatar MotoGP season opener, it has been a long three week wait for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro to get back on track this weekend in Austin, Texas.

Smith began the Losail night race from a first ever front row, but fell while in contention for a debut podium with just four laps to go.

“I am really looking forward to the Grand Prix of the Americas this weekend in Texas,” said the Englishman, starting his second MotoGP season. “After a couple of weeks off since Qatar, I have refocused and am determined to carry on trying to challenge the front runners.

“The Yamaha feels really good this year and I am full of confidence, thanks to my team and a very strong pre-season.

“It was an unfortunate end to the first race, but there are many positives to be taken from the experience, and I am looking forward to giving it my all at the Austin track where I scored my first championship points last year”.

Rookie Pol Espargaro, riding with a freshly plated collarbone, was denied the chance to sore his first premier-class points in Qatar after a problem with his seamless gearbox while running in eighth place.

“I can't wait to ride the YZR-M1 around the Circuit of the Americas this week, as I think the fast corners will suit the style of the Yamaha, and I am eager to experience the bike on such a spectacular race track,” said the reigning Moto2 champion.

“I feel my shoulder is much better now and I am getting more used to the demands of a MotoGP bike after having adapted my riding style. The team have also been very good in working with me and I learnt a lot at Qatar.

“Of course I was disappointed that I didn't score any points, even though my retirement was really unfortunate, but I feel confident of a good result here at the second MotoGP race“.

Team manager Herve Poncharal outlined his expectations for this weekend: “For Bradley, we are confident that he is able to push towards the front and battle for the leading satellite rider position. As for Pol, we hope for him to continue his learning progress which might see him fighting with the other satellite bikes.”

Tagged as: Yamaha , Smith , Espargaro

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April 10, 2014 12:35 PM

I think you must have missed the first round. Whilst neither finished for different reasons, Smith's extra season on the bike clearly did make a big difference. Oh, and its likely to be Pol that has the better bike because he is contracted directly with Yamaha. Can't take anything away from Pol though. Great start and showing his class. Nothing is 'for sure' until he delivers. Bradley competed with the aliens at the first round (did you notice he qualified front row?), Pol is unsurprisingly not able to do that yet. I've said it before. Lets get towards mid-season before making valid comparisons between the two. Give Pol time to learn to ride a MotoGP bike. I expect he will shine, but he needs to deliver, especially with that Yamaha contract.


April 10, 2014 9:53 AM

LastOfTheLateBreakers: Pol will bash bradley each meeting then take his ride for next season. Take Pol at $2.20 in the season head to head, bookies def got this one wrong putting Smith fav at $1.60... Espargaro the Moto2 champ and 'for sure' far better rider, will beat Smith even he has a better bike and full season in MotoGP under belt.
Quick, put your life savings on that..... I'm sorry but after one race it's pretty hard to tell!

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