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Sepang MotoGP Test: Smith finds big improvement on day two

Bradley Smith betters his time by 1.5 seconds on the second day of the Sepang MotoGP Test despite missing chance to clock a time using Michelin's soft rear.
Bradley Smith improved his lap time by 1.5 seconds on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 after running the hard compound Michelin rear tyre throughout the second day of the Sepang MotoGP Test.

The British rider never had the chance to use the soft rear in the afternoon after Michelin withdrew the compound in the wake of Loris Baz's 180mph accident on the main straight, from which the Frenchman fortunately escaped unhurt.

Smith, though, was more than pleased with his performance in Malaysia as he lapped in 2m 01.107s to finish tenth fastest behind Ducati test rider Casey Stoner.

“Today was constructive and I am pleased with what we accomplished, but we still need to do more tomorrow,” Smith said.

“We ran all day on hard tyres, which wasn't our original plan yet, after using this compound at the end of the yesterday, we decided to carry on with it this morning and then finally, we were all forced to use the hard tyre after Loris Baz crashed.

“Anyway, we used the 2016 electronics all day and worked well on finding solutions to some of issues we have had yesterday and now I feel a lot more confident with them. For the race distance, we need to do a bit of work,” he added.

“Here in Sepang, it's obviously hot and slippery so we have to focus on building a bike that is consistent for 20 laps.”

Smith is satisfied with his pace over a single fast lap, but is seeking an improved feeling when the tyre starts to drop off.

“At the moment, my pace on one lap is quite fast but if the tyre starts to drop, I want to be able to feel a bit more comfortable than I do now,” he said.

“We also tried a couple of different chassis configurations today and gained some interesting information, but although we didn't find anything better than what we have, we have a clear programme for the future.

“Tomorrow we will see if we can do a race simulation. I would like to do a lengthy run in order to get some fitness as well as a good idea about the performance of the tyres and the electronics over a distance,” added Smith.

“So hopefully we can run for as long as possible and have another positive day to close the test.”

Meanwhile, Smith's team-mate, Pol Espargaro, also improved his time by six tenths on the satellite machine, but was the victim of two tumbles at turn five.

“The day had some positives as we continued our work with the electronics and definitely found some improvements, but having said that, we have to understand what caused me to fall twice at turn five,” said Espargaro, who was 15th fastest with lap in 2m 01.992s.

“On the data we can't see any difference compared to the other laps. I may have been slightly faster but altogether, and compared to the other Yamaha riders, I am not particularly fast there, so it's difficult to understand what's going wrong.

“We may have to adjust the setting for turn five or maybe even change the front tyre pressure.

“All in all, we can't say it's been the best of days, but there are still some solid positives to take and we have to find our way back tomorrow,” added the Spaniard.

“Despite this, I am really confident that we can be strong again on the final day.”


Tagged as: Casey Stoner , Smith , Espargaro , Bradl

Related Pictures

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