Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro stormed to 5th today to close the year strongly in front of his home crowd of over 110,000 people at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. The young Spaniard commenced his battle from the third row and completed the first lap in 8th, whilst attempting to jump past the riders in front. He set into his fierce race pace and after setting a series of consistent lap times, he was up to 6th by the mid point of the event. Afterwards he eventually soared across the finish line in 5th to clinch the leading satellite honours at the last round of the 2015 MotoGP season thus completing a positive weekend. The solid result today saw Espargaro overtake Danilo Petrucci n in the championship standings and finish his second year in the premier class in 9th position.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith fought determinedly to conclude the 30 lap sprint right behind his teammate at the Ricardo Tormo circuit today. The young Briton began the GP from the rear of the second row on the grid and bolted forward when the lights went out before quickly locking into his formidable race rhythm. He then started his ascent, before brilliantly diving past Andrea Dovizioso, his championship rival, on lap 26. The fight continued and Smith carried on his pace as he diced right until the chequered flag but finished ahead and sealed 6th as well as the leading satellite rider position in the World Championship standings.
Race: 5th / +26.004 / 30 laps, Championship: 9th / 114 points
“Finally, I am pleased with the result and I’m happy to end the season like this. It was a good GP and I completed the race just behind the factory riders so we can’t complain, plus it’s a really positive feeling to close the year in this way. We had to face some difficulties during the season but we worked hard and it seems that we found a solution for some of them here. I was struggling a bit with the front tyre when running on full fuel load. However, in the race, as soon as the fuel level decreased and the laps passed by, I found my rhythm and in the end, I managed to overtake Dovizioso even though the Ducati is a beast on the straight! I passed him a few times and initially it seemed that I couldn’t open a gap, but I was finally able to post a series of rapid lap times which enabled me to escape and then ride comfortably until the end of the GP. It has been a tough year and probably one of the most disappointing ones in the World Championship for me. We weren’t able to make the most out of all of the races and it goes without saying that it was quite frustrating at times. Yet, the team has always been behind me and has given me a lot of support. We have a good feeling internally which we kept even during the difficult times and this is the most important thing. Of course, we may have had a few disagreements, but this is what happens when you want to grow and improve. So I must say thanks to them for always supporting me, and now, we will try to advance next year. I hope all of the bad luck that we had this season won’t repeat itself in 2016 and I am sure we can have a strong year together.”
Race: 6th / +28.835 / 30 laps, Championship: 6th / 181 points
“It has been a fantastic season and almost perfect after completing all of the 18 rounds, even though I’m a bit disappointed to miss out on our target of finishing as the leading satellite rider today. However, I can’t be hard on myself as I ended up in the top six and I collected a total of 181 points over the year. I am very proud of this, but I am especially pleased with my performance in the second half of the season. In all honesty, after the summer break I think I made another step forward with my qualifying as well as some of my race performances. Anyway, this track wasn’t easy for me and we struggled a bit all weekend, but to be there fighting in the second group was satisfying. We have to look back on all of the ups and downs of the year and then improve on the negatives because we have to do a better job next season. In this sport, you can’t just stay at the same level, so we need to see how we can make another step forward. 2016 will be a new challenge and experience, but I’m already very excited to begin on Tuesday at the test. I’m also looking forward to a bit of a rest as it’s been a demanding year with all of the work that we’ve been doing for MotoGP, plus the Suzuka 8 Hours as well. I want to give a big thanks to all of the team who did a fantastic job. Although I didn’t make any mistakes, they didn’t either with their jobs and to make a Yamaha YZR-M1 work for 18 races without any issues, highlights the great job they have done. I am proud of everyone at Tech3 and thank you to all. In addition, I also want to say thanks to Bridgestone for all of their support and it has been fantastic for me towork with them for the past three years. They have done a tremendous job and for every season that I have been in MotoGP, they have upped their performance continuously, especially this year. It would have been easy to just roll out and enjoy the season, but they came with even better material and they’ve set the level very high in MotoGP.”