Positive opening shakedown for Tech3 in Qatar
Posted on Mar 02, 2016 by Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith kicked off his last pre season test with an encouraging performances under the floodlights on day one in Qatar.
Both riders aimed to build on the knowledge gained in Phillip Island and make some further preparation steps for the forthcoming season, with the highly anticipated season opener only 18 days away.
Smith concluded the day with a solid run to 9th position, as he examined tyre options and re-evaluated wheelbase settings. The British star waited until the mid point of the session to start but then set his personal best on his 23rd lap, which left him just six tenths of a second back from third marking a positive opening.
Bradley Smith: – Position: 9th – Time: 1'56.517 – Laps: 38
"The opening to the test was positive here and to be honest, I think we undertook a really smart plan. I decided to wait until the track cleaned up a bit because I was conscious of using the tyres to their full potential. In the previous tests, I rode a lot of laps in the first two days which meant that on the last one, I didn’t have many tyres left. As a result, I decided to change my strategy here and so I just used two sets today with the track conditions being how they were. Nevertheless, we were able to confirm some wheelbase options between bike one and two, and the good thing is that the setting that we found in Sepang and Phillip Island is working well here. Now that we have triple checked this factor, I am confident that we have a solid wheelbase setting which is really important for me, because we still had some questions after Phillip Island. In addition, today we compared two of the rear tyres, with one of these being in the allocation for the race weekend. We already have a clear indication of what we need to do with the race weekend tyre, which is a bit stiffer than the other one, plus we know the setting changes that we have to make to suit it. Furthermore, the front tyre that I tried in Phillip Island is available here in more quantity. I liked that compound, it has a wider profile and I’m keen to keep working on that as I just had access to one in Australia. So all in all, I feel comfortable and confident here in Qatar, it’s a track that I have always liked and I seem to ride well at. It’s nice to be here with my shoulder at 90% after the injury at Phillip Island but after ten days of physiotherapy and rehab, I’m already almost there.”