10 April 2015
MotoGP Austin: Smith upbeat despite FP2 tumble
'I was running with a set-up that was for the mixed weather conditions and there was a lot of extra stress uphill on the front, so I hit the limit in turn one and unfortunately fell' - Bradley Smith
Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith still managed to finish in the top ten during opening practice for the Austin MotoGP despite a turn 1 tumble in FP2.
The British rider was fourth on the time-sheets when the incident occurred and although he was unable to return to the track, he finished 10th overall – a position that could prove crucial on Saturday if more rain falls at the Circuit of the Americas, with Smith's time of 2m 06.134s set on the drying track likely to prove good enough to see him through to Q2.
“Of course, it was a big shame to crash at the end of FP2 but it was the first fall of 2015, so we had to expect it at some point,” said Smith.
“At the time, I was running with a set-up that was for the mixed weather conditions and there was a lot of extra stress uphill on the front, so I hit the limit in turn one and unfortunately fell.
“However, as soon as we have started running here, in both the wet and dry conditions, we have been fast,” he added.
“I feel good and everything is positive so far, plus it's great that the base set-up is once again working well straight away, as it underlines the good job we have done prior to the season.”
Smith's team-mate, Pol Espargaro, was also inside the top ten as the Spaniard ended the session seventh fastest, lapping in 2m 05.840s.
“Overall, today was quite a positive start to the weekend and I am pleased with what we managed to achieve in the tricky conditions,” said Espargaro.
“This morning we had probably our first ever fully wet session in the MotoGP class and I'm happy to say that the feelings I had on the bike were really good. The only thing that was missing was a quick lap at the end of the session unfortunately, but I felt comfortable and my time was not so bad.
“In the dry, we decided to go with our base setting and I didn't return to the pit box at all, so nothing was changed. Altogether, the first day was good so I am looking forward to getting back out on the track.”
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