Alex Rins tops 2016 Moto2 Test ahead of Sam Lowes and Danny Kent
The 2016 campaign of the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 kicked off recently with a two-day test at the Jerez circuit, during which Sam Lowes got his first chance to ride the Kalex Moto2 bike he will use next season.
The British rider completed no less than 167 laps over the two days, obtaining a good feeling with the bike and immediately clocking very good lap times: the time of 1’42”432 on day two by Lowes was the second fastest, beaten only by Spaniard Alex Rins, who set down a 1’42”333 the previous day.
The team now moves to Valencia for two more days of testing scheduled for 16th and 17th of November.
Sam Lowes – (1’42″432 – 167 laps) – “I’m really impressed by the team and the bike! From the first moment I felt that the potential is very high and I’m satisfied with the work done in these two days, in which I did a lot of laps, a record for me! I have tried many things on the bike, mostly to get acquainted to it and to understand how it reacts to the set-up changes. It was a great start, the guys from the team are fantastic and I could not be happier”.
Fausto Gresini – “I’m really happy because I saw Lowes really excited about working with our team: Sam found himself right at home, and he did a great job during these first tests. Our priority was to make him familarize with the new 2016 Kalex Moto2 bike and with the Ohlins suspension, and I think he did it very well. It’s been an important testing session in which we have obtained very positive results: now we move to Valencia to continue our preparation for next season”.
Behind Lowes by just over a tenth was Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) with Moto2 returnee Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) setting the third fastest time with 1’42.565.
Danny Kent: “The first impression after my comeback to the Moto2 category has been very good. After a couple of laps I felt like being back home in this class and it took not a long time to set faster lap times than in my Moto2 season in 2013. In the end I was 1,5 second faster than before at this track. So not only for this I’ve to say that the first feeling with the Kalex bike is really good. In general, it’s a great bike to ride and the support from Kalex we already are receiving is really excellent. However, this was just our first two-day test for the upcoming season so there is still a lot to learn for everyone in the team but also for my side I must working hard to change back my riding style to Moto2 in order to get closer to the front guys. Before heading into the two-month winter break it was important to do this two-day test here in Jerez so I can go back home now to start my fitness training with some slightly changes do the programme to come back in 2016 well prepared for our first Moto2 campaign.”
In fourth was Luis Salom (SAG) followed by Moto2 rookie Miguel Oliveira (Leopard Racing) and Jesko Raffin (SAG).
Miguel Oliveira: “I’m very happy how things went the last two days. My first sensation is so good even though this bike is very different to that I’m used to in Moto3. The Kalex bike of course has more power as well as being heavier and also the tyres in Moto2 are definitely a different aspect for which I’ve a to adapt myself in several ways. Anyway, I’m happy with the way I’m making progress even there is a still lot to learn for me in the future. However, as said I’m happy so far. I’m pleased too for my ride in this highly professional team as a teammate of the reigning Moto3 World Champion. At this point my thanks go to all people in the team for their warm welcome to me. They are all decent people and I think we can have a good season in 2016. These last two days were a very first shakedown in the Moto2 category so it was important to learn and understand in which way I must change my physical preparation during the winter month. The Kalex Moto2 of course is a more demanding bike so I got a taste already in which parts I have to change my training. But also as soon I jumped on the bike for the very first time and since my first laps yesterday I know how to adapt my riding style for this category. In any case, it was a productive test for all of us.”
Isaac Viñales (Tech 3) set a 1’44.834 to end Friday in seventh as he learns the Mistral 610 Moto2 machine.
Meanwhile, Brad Binder was the faster of the two Moto3 riders present at the test. The South African was able to lap pillow the circuit and pole position record with a 1’46.591. Binder’s rookie Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Bo Bendsneyder continued to adapt to the World Championship spec KTM after dominating the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2015.