Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) made a habit of going fast in 2017 as he took pole in half the races, and 2018 has begun much the same for the Spaniard as he took to the top in testing. But expected key rival Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) made it far from easy, ending the three days of Official testing just 0.095 in arrears.
“We were able to get on track for only one session and we worked hard on the engine brake, which was the thing that gave us some head-scratching. I think we did a good job given the little time available and we can now go to Jerez hoping to make the most of those three days – as we haven’t been particularly lucky here.”
Behind the two Hondas at the top, Italian sophomore Marco Bezzechi (PruestelGP) kept KTM close behind, 0.007 further back.
It was a tight first test for the Moto3 field despite early delays and some difficult conditions. After Tuesday was affected by rain, cold temperatures then delayed action on both subsequent days – but warmer afternoons allowed the paddock to get down to work for the first Official Test of 2018.
Behind the top three, the gaps didn’t get any bigger. Day 2 crasher Aron Canet (EG 0,0) was fourth overall and only 0.017 off Bezzecchi, with exactly the same gap back to Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in fifth as the Italian gets up to speed quickly in his new team, much like compatriot Bastianini.
Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) broke the Spanish and Italian dominion at the top in six, with the German on the Austrian bike a tenth and a half further back.
Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) was eighth quickest, ahead of Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) despite a crash, and Alonso Lopez (EG 0,0) was impressive on his debut; the Spaniard the quickest rookie.
Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) was tenth overall, having gone quickest on Day 2 ad that laptime putting him in P10 on the combined.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) was P11, ahead of another sophomore in the form of 2017 Rookie of the Year Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing).
Just behind him was compatriot, rookie and reigning Red Bull Rookies Cup Champion Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider), by only 0.031, with Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) even closer in P14. The 2017 Mugello winner was only 0.001 off the Japanese rookie. Livio Loi (Reale Stylobike) completed the fastest fifteen.
Moto3 Valencia Test – February 2018
Jorge Martin – Honda 1m39.615
Enea Bastianini – Honda 1m39.710
Marco Bezzecchi – KTM 1m39.717
Aron Canet – Honda 1m39.734
Niccolo Antonelli – Honda 1m39.751
Phillip Oettl – KTM 1m39.899
Tony Arbolino – Honda 1m39.948
Albert Arenas – KTM 1m40.083
Alonso Lopez – Honda 1m40.176
Gabriel Rodrigo – KTM 1m40.324
Lorenzo Dalla Porta – Honda 1m40.331
Ayumu Sasaki – Honda 1m40.484
Kazuki Masaki – KTM 1m40.515
Andrea Migno – KTM 1m40.516
Livio Loi – KTM 1m40.575
Fabio Di Giannantonio – Honda 1m40.583
John McPhee – KTM 1m40.723
Tatsuki Suzuki – Honda 1m40.823
Makar Yurchenko – KTM 1m41.083
Darryn Binder – KTM 1m41.259
Jakub Kornfeil – KTM 1m41.672
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat – Honda 1m41.862
Kaito Toba – Honda 1m42.321
Adam Norrodin – Honda 1m42.399
Now it’s next stop Jerez for the lightweight and intermediate classes, with action beginning again on the 12th February.
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