KTM Moto2 machine laps Aragon with Johann Zarco
Intermediate and lightweight classes straight back on track in Aragon
Ahead of the flyways that begin soon at the Twin Ring Motegi, Moto2 and Moto3 followed up the Aragon GP with a one day test at MotorLand Aragon.
Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was back out after his stunning win on Sunday – as was newly crowned Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) after no time for celebrations, with the skies bluer than race day and work uninterrupted.
As well as Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 and Red Bull KTM Ajo in Moto3, other teams present were fellow Sunday podium sitters Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS with Alex Marquez and Franco Morbidelli, Estrella Galicia 0,0 with race winner Jorge Navarro, Garage Plus Interwetten, Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, Ajo Motorsport and reigning champion Johann Zarco, Dynavolt Intact GP, Gaviota Mahindra Aspar, Sky Racing Team VR46, Ongetta-Rivacold, and Peugeot MC Saxoprint – amongst others.
Big news in Moto2 saw reigning champion Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) out on track on the new KTM Moto2 chassis with a black livery ahead of their future entry, with the championship leader back to work after a tough race weekend – seeing his advantage slashed to one point over key rival Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40).
Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) were back out fresh from their impressive finishes in the race to test out the new Kalex chassis for 2017, plus two new swingarms. With Kalex not bringing any other new parts for other teams, the majority of work for those testing on the current chassis centered around setup. In addition to setup and further data-gathering following the race weekend, Öhlins did bring some new suspension forks – and a harder compound front from tyre supplier Dunlop was also on the agenda as teams consider the option, especially for the upcoming Malaysian GP at the newly resurfaced Sepang International Circuit.
Dynavolt Intact GP riders Sandro Cortese and Jonas Folger spent some of their track time testing Nissin brakes, after Cortese also tried them out at the post-race test in Brno following teammate Folger’s victory. Tech 3 Racing continued their work on their chassis and KYB suspension, with rider Xavi Vierge the one charged with testing duties as the team try out different options.
As some in Moto2 tested the 2017 Kalex chassis and the new KTM Moto2 chassis, Moto3 saw the arrival of the 2017 KTM bike. Öhlins also brought some front forks for the lightweight class, as well as a small change to the rear shock.
Aragon GP victors Estrella Galicia 0,0 had a three bike setup in the garage as they tested options for 2017. Race winner Jorge Navarro was the rider out on track and on duty, testing back-to-back with the current bike. Meanwhile, Sky Racing Team VR46 were busy with new full-time Moto3 World Championship rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta out on track to get kilometers on the bike, as well as Andrea Migno. Following an incident in the race, Nicolo Bulega sat out the test as he concentrates slightly further forward on the upcoming flyaway stint.
Peugeot MC Saxoprint riders Albert Arenas and John McPhee also sat the test out, with the team running Red Bull Rookies Aleix Viu and Patrik Pulkkinen, as well as Dakota Mamola and FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ rider Vicente Perez. At Ongetta-Rivacold, Niccolo Antonelli was working on trying to solve some top speed woes encountered in the Aragon GP.
Mahindra had a busy schedule following their recent 100th GP celebrated at Misano World Circuit, with a whole new engine never previously tested, new swingarm and new forks as they continue to make fantastic progress on the world stage and target more wins following their first in 2016.
Next stop: Twin Ring Motegi, where the lighter classes will do battle once again as the Moto2 title goes down to the wire – and Binder finds himself able to race without pressure, targeting more victories in spectacular Moto3 style.
“It was a very positive test because we managed to further improve our race pace from yesterday: honestly I didn’t expect it, because it was already very strong! In addition, we also improved our fastest lap time of the weekend. The team did a great job as always, and the new parts from Ohlins gave good results, so we will use them directly in the next Grand Prix in Japan. I’m very happy, it’s been a great weekend and I’m looking forward to race at Motegi”.
“Today we have tried various new things for the bike, such as a new engine, and the lap times are good. They are all updates for next year, it is unlikely we will get any of the updates before the end of this season. They are doing a good job but it has to continue without pause.”
“It has been a pretty productive day, we have tried different things with the chassis and I am very happy with the progress we have made. Obviously it is a step forward and if we would have had these updates available yesterday we would have been looking at a better result. Now we have to continue our preparations for the flyaway races.”
“I feel very positive after the test and we really made some good steps forward and that leaves me confident for the future. Isaac did not ride today, so this meant that I could use both Moto2 bikes, which certainly helped, and I was able to try many new things and progress quicker than normal. I collected a lot of information and we also found a solution to the issue that I have been struggling with in the past few rounds, plus we obtained some vital data for next year. The feeling after the test today was much better than after yesterday and the Tech3 team worked hard like always and I know that if I can continue in this way, then for sure, I will reach my objectives.”