An intense pre-season testing schedule had paid off for the Millsport Ducati squad and their rider Jacob Smrz, as the privateer team finished day three of the Cartagena pre-season test rivalling their championship contender rivals on lap times.
Smrz, who joined the team from Padgetts Honda at the end of 2013, was able to put in a series of low 1:34 laps in the afternoon, matching the pace from yesterday of Tommy Bridewell on the Milwaukee Yamaha and outpacing championship runner-up Josh Brookes by over half a second.
Speaking at the end of the day, however, Smrz says there’s still a long way left to go for the Northern Irish team: “I’m really happy with my lap times from today. It’s really hard to be struggling and off the pace, but it’s nice to be struggling and still be one of the fastest! We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we know what we have to do and now just need the track time to finish moving the bike in the right direction.
Bridewell’s team, however, were forced into a major rebuild that cost them a session on track after a nasty crash severely damaged his R1 machine this morning.
Speaking afterwards, he said: "It's the third day now here at Cartagena and the test has been really good and really strong. We were out this morning doing really good and really consistent lap times with every lap in the 1m:34s, then we made a change with the bike and we tried the SC2 front tyre and unfortunately I didn't have a very good feeling with it and for no reason, as we didn't do anything different with it, we just lost the from end and had a crash.”
"It is not ideal, but the boys have got the bike pretty much rebuilt and ready to go, so we were able to have a little spin round and carry on where we were before the crash. Overall it has been a very successful test for me and the team so hopefully we can continue the good progress".
The Cartagena test concludes tomorrow, while the Milwaukee Yamaha squad departs tonight before a private test at Alcaraz on Monday and Tuesday.