EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider below the 1:42 barrier in the first Official Moto2™ Test of the year
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) went quickest overall in the Official Moto2™ Test at the Circuito de Jerez, furthest below the pole lap record as five riders bettered Sam Lowes’ 2016 qualifying quickest. Teammate Franco Morbidelli ended the three days just a tenth off Marquez as EG 0,0 Marc VDS took a 1-2, with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) flying the flag for the new KTM chassis in P3.
Marquez came out swinging throughout the test, and the former World Champion blitzed the field on Day 3 to top the timesheets with a stunning 1:41.989. The lap was quickest on the combined timesheets of the three days, with Morbidelli’s 1:42.103 for P2 another quicker than the pole record – with the top five all below Lowes’ 2016 1:42.408 pole.
Oliveira had a solid test and topped Day 1 – with that laptime leaving him third on the overall timesheets with a 1:42.316 as the new KTM Moto2™ chassis debuts on the official timesheets. Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) was another below the pole lap record in P4 overall; his quickest lap set on Day 3 and a 1:42.336. The Swiss rider moves team for 2017 and was the quickest Suter on the timesheets as the constructor makes a big return to the intermediate class grid in 2017.
Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was the quickest rookie in an impressive P5 with a 1:42.372, the last man in the record-breaking club. Mattia Pasini impressed in P6 for Italtrans Racing Team, on the other end of the scale of experience, ahead of Japanese expected title-contender Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). Nakagami put in a best of 1:42.496.
Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) was another quick rookie in eighth as he continues to put in hundreds of laps gaining experience, with more veteran Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) taking P9 overall.
2016 title contender Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) completed the top ten, with Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team), Danny Kent (Kiefer Racing), Yonny Hernandez (AGR Team), Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) and Edgar Pons (Pons HP 40) locking out the top fifteen.
Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Brad Binder set a best of 1:43.367 as he comes back from a broken arm and a long period of recovery, 24th fastest as he starts getting back up to speed.
Moto2™ join Moto3™ back on track at Losail International Circuit in Qatar for their second and final Official Test of 2017, from the 17th to 19th March.
Sky Racing Team VR46 sophomore’s Day 2 time fastest overall
Italian 2016 Rookie of the Year contender Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) has kept his top spot in the first Official Test of the year for the Moto3™ field, heading the timesheets from Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider Aron Canet and Del Conca Gresini Moto3™ rider Jorge Martin in the overall combined standings.
Bulega did a best of 1:46.232, just over a tenth ahead of Canet. With good conditions throughout the three days of testing, season preparation is now truly underway for the lightweight class.
Fourth fastest was an impressive showing from Czech rider Jakub Kornfeil (Peugeot MC Saxoprint), with Italian veteran of the class Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) completing the top five on the overall timesheets as he returns to Moto3™ competition. Kornfeil did a 1:46.473; Fenati a 1:46.486 in a tight fight in the top ten.
Marcos Ramirez was sixth quickest for Platinum Bay Real Estate, ahead of the RBA Racing Team duo of Gabriel Rodrigo and Juanfran Guevara – who were almost inseparable on the timesheets once again, split by less than half a tenth. 2016 Rookie of the Year Joan Mir settled into life on a Honda in ninth, with a best of 1:46.691 for the 2016 Austrian GP Moto3™ winner.
British Talent Team rider John McPhee completed the top ten overall after the new outfit’s first three days on the timesheets, putting in a 1:46.792 as his best effort.
Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate), Tony Arbolino (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) and reigning FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Aspar Mahindra Moto3) completed the top 15.
Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was P16, with Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) ending the test in P18 ahead of reigning Red Bull Rookies Cup champion Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team). Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) came back from a broken collarbone to complete the top 20.
Moto3™ are back later in March, on track from the 17th to 19th in Qatar for their second and final Official preseason outing.