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Sepang MotoGP Test: Full seamless upshifts for Tech 3

"We have first to sixth [seamless]. Last year we were using second to sixth" - Pol Espargaro.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith will have the full range of seamless upshifts available for the 2015 MotoGP season.

Last year's Tech 3 bikes were seamless from second gear onwards, due to neutral still being located between first and second. Factory stars Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo had the next generation Yamaha gearbox, featuring seamless upshifts from first to sixth.

While the Movistar Yamaha riders soon hope to join Honda in also having seamless downshifts, Espargaro is pleased with the step forward offered by last year's factory gearbox.

“We have first to sixth [seamless]. Last year we were using second to sixth, ” he confirmed at the Sepang test. “Here we only have one corner with first gear, so maybe here we will not feel much difference. But Texas for example will be a big difference. It is a good improvement.”

Sixth and the top satellite rider during his rookie season, Espargaro repeated that positon during this week's opening test of the year in Sepang. The 23-year-old was 0.984s behind a record-breaking lap from Honda's Marc Marquez, but within half-a-second of top M1 rider Rossi.

“We've improved a lot compared to last year. The fast lap we improved a lot and the rhythm was much better. I'm really happy with that. If we don't look at the two Hondas, our rhythm and fast lap is really good,” he said.

“The track today was much better than yesterday and for sure the rhythm and pace with the bike was much better. Today I think we did a good lap time at the start of the day and afterwards set good laps and a good rhythm. I'm happy with it.

“Yesterday we tested different chassis and if there is big difference between them, you feel very soon if you like it or not. The problem [yesterday] was that the difference between them was small and at the end we got a bit confused.

“So we went back to what we tested on the first day and started again from those feelings. It was good.”

Looking ahead to the second test at the end of this month, Espargaro added: “We tested a lot of good things this week. We do not have much to test at Sepang 2. But I want to improve my riding style a little more. This track is not the best for me. Long corners for me are difficult and at this track I always struggle a bit. I'm improving always my riding style with the Yamaha to try to be faster and we will also have some electronic systems to try.”

The former Moto2 champion claimed a best finish of fourth last year and is determined to learn from the best in 2015.

“Last year was the year for experience, to make mistakes and be confused in some races. But this year we have to try to fight with the front guys in some races,” Espargaro declared. “And when we fight with them we will learn double compared with being alone in a race. The target is to be with the front guys as much as possible.”

Espargaro fractured his foot in a fiery practice fall at last October's Malaysian race, caused when debris damaged an oil radiator, but still claimed sixth in the race.

Tagged as: Yamaha , Espargaro

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