Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) topped the second day of testing for the new era of Moto2 in southern Spain despite a crash, with the Malaysian GP winner having just been beaten to the honour late on Friday.
Marini’s 1:41.524 put him just over two-and-a-half-tenths clear of his nearest rival, Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), with the Brit once again a force to be reckoned on his return to the Gresini squad.
To compare this new 765 triple-cylinder era to the previous CBR600RR powered, the fastest Moto2 lap at the Jerez race weekend back in May was a 1m41.890 by Lorenzo Baldassarri on a 33-degree track temperature in FP3. Conditions for this test are around five-degrees cooler.
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top three, and was another frontrunner who crashed. Remy Gardner (SAG Team) ended the day less than a tenth off Marquez, with the top five completed by Friday’s fastest, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP 40). The Italian was close though, just 0.044 off Gardner.
Rain interrupted action mid-way through the day, and in the final session only Steven Odendaal (NTS RW Racing), Lukas Tulovic (Kiefer Racing) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) went out.
Jorge Navarro (Speed Up Racing) began his Speed Up career in a solid P6 in a tight top ten, with Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Augusto Fernanández (Pons HP40) in seventh and eighth respectively. Tetsuta Nagashima (SAG Team) and Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top ten on Day 2.
Then came the first of the rookies: Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), another who impressed despite a crash. Bulega was also the quickest debutant on Friday and ended Day 2 in P11 – more solid form from the Italian as fellow rookies Fabio Di Giannantonio (Speed Up Racing) and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) took P16 and P17 respectively.
Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) was P24, whereas reigning Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) sits on the sidelines injured. His teammate, Brad Binder, was P13 and fastest KTM, with Martin’s replacement Iker Lecuona beginning his stint just behind Bezzecchi.
Marco Bezzecchi – P24
“We had a quite positive second day, although we unfortunately didn’t ride too much because the weather changed. I was working even more on my riding style, which became better today. But still, we have to continue our good work in terms of riding style and also regarding chassis setup. All the team is very motivated and also KTM helps a lot. Tomorrow we will try to go faster.”
Jake Dixon continued to make progress on his KTM framed machine on the second day of the 2019 preseason. The Briton finished second in the British Superbike Championship to Leon Haslam this season and the 22-year-old steps into the Moto2 ranks with Ángel Nieto Team. Dixon was three tenths quicker than yesterday in the two sessions that beat the weather, finishing 2.6 seconds off the top.
Jake Dixon – P27
“I still don’t have the best feeling with the bike, we’re struggling a little bit, but we are working hard together with the team to understand this KTM. For example, today we improved the feeling with the front end. It is incredible the job that the team are doing to help me get comfortable. It is a shame that the rain came and limited the track time because we need as many laps as possible in these tests. We could do with another session in the dry because we have worked on some things that could help us improve. Hopefully it doesn’t rain tomorrow because otherwise we’ll have to wait until next year to try them.”
The fastest MV Agusta on their return to the paddock was Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing), who slotted into fourteenth.
Sunday is the third and final day of testing at Jerez for the intermediate class as the new era of Triumph power begins.
Moto2 Jerez Test 2019 – Jerez
Day One-Two Combined Times
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