Pedro Acosta was the man to beat on his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine as the Portimao Test came to a close, the 2022 Rookie of the Year walking away fastest on the combined timesheets.
Both he and close challenger Fermin Aldeguer (CAG Speed Up) made it into the 1:41s, Acosta with a fastest ever 1:41.907 and Aldeguer at a deficit of just 0.072. Third went to Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) with a 1:42.091, the third rider under the old lap record, just not quite into the 1:41s.
It remained close from there on out, with Somkiat Chantra flying the flag for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia in fourth, and the squad fielding one rider as they wait for 2022 challenger Ai Ogura to return from injury.
Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), who has form at Portimao, was fifth and just 0.006 off Chantra, with Lowes’ teammate Tony Arbolino just another 0.009 further back in a tight pack.
Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) and Barry Baltus (Fieten Olie Racing GP) were notable in seventh and eighth, ahead of Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) and Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
The fastest rookie was Sergio Garcia (Pons Wegow Los40) in P17.
Some more experienced riders who will be looking for a lot more come the Grand Prix weekend are Alonso Lopez (CAG Speed Up) in P15 and Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) in P19. Full final session and combined timesheets can be found below!
Jake Dixon – P9
“The beginning of the tests didn’t go as we expected. I didn’t have good feeling with the bike and it felt different compared to last year. Little by little we got closer to what we were looking for and we ended with some very good days in Portimao. We are growing, I am getting more confident lap after lap and I think we can still develop more.”
Filip Salac – P11
“It has been a positive test, improving every outings with different setting on the bike. I think we are ready for the race. Today we tried a race simulation, we did fast lap-times and I was able to improve also riding alone: that means we did a good job. I apologize to the team for the small crash I had this morning but all the test was perfect: I can’t wait to race!”
Manuel Gonzalez – P12
“I finished this test feeling very confident, because the lap times were coming out really easily. I have a good pace. Of course, we need to find more speed to set even better lap times, but that’s something we’ll work on during the race weekend. For now, the work we did was perfect. We tried a lot of things with the brakes and suspension, and other things. I’m really happy with how it went. We tried this bike with the set-up we used last time out with the old bike, and it was very different with this new bike. I’m more confident and faster, so see you at the Portimao GP. I hope to fight for the podium.”
“These three days of test have been quite difficult for us, we’ve worked very hard, but finally in the second session of day3 we’ve been able to find a good set-up for me to ride fast and with less difficulties. I’m happy about the work we’ve done, I did so many laps on my own to understand where we could improve and we arrived at the end of the test with a good set-up for the first race of the year, next week.”
Kohta Nozane – P27
“I was able to make progress in today’s session 2, but I had a small crash in session 3, so I’m still trying to understand it. But, overall, it’s been a very good five days of testing, if you include the Jerez Private Test.”
Izan Guevara – P28
“The adaptation to this category is not easy. Every time we go out on track we improve our lap times, but these days the other riders have broken records and that’s why it’s normal that we are a bit far. The championship is very long, there are 21 races in which I will try to learn and enjoy to keep improving.”
Moto2 Combined Test Results
Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) has begun the Moto3 season on top, with the Italian putting in a scorching lap of Portimao under the old lap record at the Official Test.
The rider on the chase arguably upstages the impressive feat of the more veteran 54, however, with rookie Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) just 0.051s further back as he joins the fold – and with a lap that’s also under the previous record.
If he wasn’t one to watch already, arriving as the first rider to win both JuniorGP and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in the same year, he most definitely is now.
Third on the combined timesheets goes to David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports), the impressive 2022 rookie starting his sophomore season on a high, with two veterans rounding out the top five: Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) and Romano Fenati (Rivacold Snipers Team). The full combined timesheets can be found below.
Some notable positions include the trio of rookies from 10th to 12th, with David Alonso (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team), Syarifuddin Azman (MT Helmets – MSI) and Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) all impressing.
Aussie Joel Kelso finished the test in a respectable 13th, after kicking off the weekend by topping FP1 in the wet, and sitting in the top-10 in the earlier FP sessions.
Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in P15 and Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) in P19 are two veterans who will be looking for more once the Grand Prix gets underway.
Daniel Holgado – P6
“We have completed the final test of the pre-season and I think that we did an amazing job over the last three days with my new team. Everyday we were strong and we improved day by day, I felt strong on the bike and I am confident for the new season. I can not wait to go racing… so see you in a week!”
David Alonso – P10
“In these three days in Portimao we have had time for everything. We came from Jerez with good feelings and we have confirmed them here, getting close to the top 10. We improved in all the sessions and we have a good speed. I’m not only happy with the lap times, I’m also happy because I am more comfortable with the bike. I think I’ve made a step forward riding alone and that’s very important for the races. We will continue working on our pace and riding on used tyres, but I definitely think that we are ready for the first race.”
Filippo Farioli – P16
“We worked a lot over the past three days here in Portimao: we tried many things, did many laps but in the end we managed to get a bike setting that I like a lot. I would like to use it for the race next week, because the work on the race pace was very positive. We still have a few things to work on of course, including the time attacks in order to get a good qualifying position for the race, but overall I am very happy about the work done with my team. I am ready to start the season!”
Ryusei Yamanaka – P20
“It was a very positive day for me because, after analysing the bike, we found the problem we were suffering from and we found a solution for it. I can be a fast rider this year, I am happy with the pace I have and I think we are going in the right way. We will stay focused and see what I can improve to be ready for the first race.”
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