Moto2 Moto3 Jerez Testing gets underway
Moto2 – Zarco shows good pace again in Jerez / Vinales leads Moto3 class after Jerez test day 1
Having ridden well at Valencia last week, Frenchman Johann Zarco was on the pace again at Jerez on Tuesday.
As the Moto2 field gathered for another three day test, this time in the south of Spain, they encountered cool and windy conditions in the morning at the Andalusian venue.
Zarco’s timesheet topping lap came in the final session of three 70-minute outings over the course of the day, as the Ajo Motorsport rider went round the Jerez track in 1’42.817 on the Kalex.
Behind Zarco, Briton Sam Lowes was second quickest on his Speed Up Racing machine as he prepares for his second season in Grand Prix competition. Lowes lapped 0.112s off Zarco’s rapid pace.
In third place on the timesheet was Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rookie Alex Rins who is showing good signs in preseason ahead of his debut intermediate class campaign. Rins’ best time came in session two.
Rins’ teammate Luis Salom was fourth best, 0.293s off P1 pace with his fastest lap registered in the final session of the day.
German rider Jonas Folger goes into the new season as a Moto2 sophomore and he was fifth quickest overall on Tuesday with a 1’43.298 lap on his AGR Team Kalex.
It was not an ideal day for Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS) as he crashed just after midday and ended up sixth fastest (+0.494s) overall. Rabat also suffered three crashes last week at Valencia and will aim to cut out the errors over the next 48 hours.
A Kalex dominated top ten was completed by Mika Kallio (Italtrans Racing Team), Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Axel Pons (AGR Team) and Thomas Luthi (Derendinger Racing Interwetten). Of those top ten riders only Lowes with the Speed Up chassis was not on a Kalex.
Xavier Simeon – (8th – 1’43″681) – “I’m quite satisfied about today’s result: we did a good job, but we still have to get to know this bike to better adapt it to my riding style. Last week in Valencia it was fine, but here we found some more problems, but it’s normal: so far we didn’t test a lot. Anyway, I’m happy with the feeling I’m having when I ride, and moreover we are close to the top. To get even closer, however, we must improve many small aspects in various areas: cornering speed, corner entry, and grip. Tomorrow we will try to put in as many laps as possible to continue our work on the bike”.
Tuesday’s testing at Jerez ended with Isaac Viñales at the head of the combined Moto3 sessions timesheet.
The pace picked up in the third of the three 70 minute sessions after a cool and windy start to the day, with Viñales (Husqvarna Factory Laglisse) topping the timesheet in the final session of the day, with a 1’46.817 best lap.
The top five also featured Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) on the Honda, Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46) on the KTM, Jorge Martin (Mapfre Mahindra Team) on the Mahindra and Fabio Quartararo (Estrella Galicia 0.0) also on the Honda – all within half a second of Viñales.
4th Jorge Martín 1.47.123 (56 laps): “I struggled to get on the pace at the start of the day, I couldn’t get comfortable in the wind and found it hard to get the bike into the corners. As the day progressed we changed the geometry of the bike and improved our feeling and after using used tyres in the opening two sessions of the day we switched to new rubber at the end, adjusted the suspension and pushed for a time. We will try a new rear shock tomorrow and another setting on the front but I am happy to already be lapping in the 1’47s on the first day, which I think is a great time and one I didn’t expect. The important thing is that I am already to comfortably set a strong pace so we need to continue like this.”
The top ten was completed by Danny Kent (Leopard Racing), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0.0), Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Gresini Moto3) and the returning Livio Loi who this season rides for (RW Racing GP).
Enea Bastianini (9th – 1’48″026) – “We struggled a bit in the first two sessions, in which we could not complete a lot of laps, but then the situation improved in the third and final session, where I could shoot more and start working more on the bike set-up. Finally, at the end of the day I also scored a good lap time. We come from the Valencia test where we could only do a few laps because of bad weather and even today we couldn’t work on the bike as we would have liked, but everything is under control: we still have two days left here in Jerez and from tomorrow we will back to work!”.
Kent’s new colleague Efren Vazquez was present at the track but did not ride on Tuesday due to swelling still being experience on the right foot injury which he sustained last week at Valencia.