3 May 2014
Spain MotoGP: 'Challenging' day for Yamaha Tech 3's Smith
Bradley Smith qualifies ninth for Jerez MotoGP but Yamaha Tech 3 rider optimistic of stronger race finish in Spain
Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith cemented another top ten qualifying result for the Jerez MotoGP on a 'challenging' day for the British rider.
Smith, who escaped unhurt after a massive spill on Friday, will start from ninth place on row three alongside team-mate Pol Espargaro in eighth.
He clocked his best time of 1m 39.390s in Q2 and has outlined his objective of fighting for a solid result in Sunday's fourth round of the MotoGP World Championship.
“Today was a challenging day as there were a few issues which we weren't fully able to amend, but I am pleased that I was still able to qualify inside the top ten again, and will be able to start on the third row despite our problems,” said Smith.
“During the free practice sessions here, I have spent time trying to solve the issue of the bike's feeling at the beginning of a race, and also my riding position. I concentrated on finding a solution, and rode with a full fuel load to try to test this situation,” he added.
“The crash yesterday didn't help anything at all, and with the contrasting conditions of the track, all of the data we collected wasn't very useful.
“Now we need to concentrate on a set-up for tomorrow. My race pace is good, and I feel optimistic about a good result this weekend.”
Pol Espargaro, meanwhile, was upbeat after qualifying ahead of Smith in eighth after finding a 'positive setting'.
“Today I am really pleased with the level of improvement we have made, and feel great about starting from eighth on the grid," he said.
"My best time from FP2 was a 1.41, and finally I finished with a 1.39,2, so it's clear to see how much of a leap forward we have made. I am improving race by race, and we found a really positive setting, which I am very comfortable with and it is allowing me to ride faster.
"The competition will be fierce tomorrow, but every race is different. This one will be quite tricky due to the conditions, but I am happy with my race pace and I really look forward to battling in front of my fans in my home country."
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