A patient Bradley Smith made the best of intermittent showers on day one of the Phillip Island MotoGP test and was rewarded with a positive start, plus the third best lap time.
The Englishman got straight to work experimenting with the new unified electronics and set-up of his Tech 3 Yamaha, following the Sepang test, completing a total of 27 laps in the wet and dry.
"To be honest I'm quite pleased with how today went,” Smith began. “It goes without saying that the weather interfered a bit, but it was actually quite positive because it meant that we could really focus on the small details whilst we were waiting for the rain to stop. The electronics take a lot of time to adjust, so having some big breaks due to the weather meant that we could do this and there was no stress or rushing.
“When I went out onto the track, we knew that we only had a handful of laps and I had to really concentrate so that we could narrow down the right choice of setting. The good thing is that I have quite a positive feeling already, even if it's only after 7 or 8 laps in the dry, which is very important as I struggled here all weekend last year.
“In addition, I really enjoyed myself in the wet and had a lot of confidence riding in it, which is a big plus. It looks like the base setting that we worked towards in Sepang is performing well here already, albeit with a few small adjustments. This proves that we are heading in the right direction at the moment and hopefully tomorrow we can gain more valuable information with some dry laps.”
Team-mate Pol Espargaro rode for 20 laps, the best of which put him seventh on the timesheets, half a second from Smith.
"Today, we can't really say how the test went because neither me nor the other riders really lapped a lot in the dry or the wet conditions,” said the Spaniard. “We all rode only a few laps and the times were really far back from the pace that we should be riding at.
“However, I had a satisfying run in the wet as we tested some electronic settings, yet unfortunately we weren't able to re-confirm the information that we gained as the track began to dry. Almost the exact same thing happened when I went out on slick tyres and I had to come back in the pits after only a couple of laps.
“It's a real pity that we couldn't make more of today, but the forecast says that the conditions should improve tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to getting back on my bike and finally enjoying this amazing track.”
Two more days of testing remain.