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MotoGP: Smith looks on bright side as rain stops play

Bradley Smith satisfied with pre-season testing progress, remains upbeat after final night of Qatar MotoGP test called off due to rain at Losail
Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith was taking the positives from his pre-season testing programme after the final night of the Qatar MotoGP test was called off due to rain.

With the action set to take place under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit, no riders were permitted on track in the interests of safety as a result of the reflections caused by the lights on the wet surface.

However, British rider Smith, who was eighth overall on the combined time sheets in Qatar with a lap in 1m 55.648s – less than two tenths of a second behind Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo in fourth – wasn't left too disheartened by the decision on Monday.

“It's unfortunate that the rain has stopped the final day of testing, but honestly, we have already completed a race simulation in Sepang so it's not a huge loss. I also did one here last year in the test so we have the information we need,” said the 23-year-old.

“In addition, we did a lot of long runs on the same tyre and know how the compound behaves after a lot of laps. The lap times are close so the first race will be interesting and I'm truly happy with what we have achieved.

“The bike is working really well at the moment and we have two or three ideas that we will try in ten days when we return here. If we can run high 1'55 laps in the race then we are where we want to be.

“So at the moment, we need to find about 0.3 each lap, then we will be happy,” he added. “I've really enjoyed the pre-season this year, ridden a lot of laps and tried a lot of things but now the nice part of the year starts where you can score points. The competition is back on and it will be a good one.”

His team-mate, Pol Espargaro – ninth fastest over the course of the two days (1m 55.658s) – was rueful after missing the chance to complete a race simulation on the satellite YZR-M1.

“It's a pity that we couldn't take advantage of the last day of testing as I'm convinced that we would have been able to find some further improvements to lower our lap time and I was really looking forward to doing a full race simulation,” he said.

“However, fortunately we are still leaving Qatar with the positive feelings from yesterday because after a challenging first day, we turned the situation around and the pace was truly encouraging as well as the confidence I had with the bike.

“The gap to the other Yamahas was minimal so I think we are in a good position for when we return to Qatar in 10 days,” Espargaro added.

“I'm convinced the race weekends will definitely be different, as we have less time to set up the bike so we need to be fast straight away and more competitive on a single lap time, but I can't wait for the season to start as I feel we are well prepared.”

Tagged as: Lorenzo , Smith , Espargaro , Bradl

Related Pictures

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Smith, Qatar MotoGP test March 2015
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Marquez, Lorenzo Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016
Bradl, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, after crash, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016
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Lorenzo, crash, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016
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Lorenzo, after crash, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016
Smith, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016
Smith, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016
Aleix Espargaro, Vinales Japanese MotoGP Race 2016

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