After an intense battle on Sunday in Aragon, a host of Moto2 ™ and Moto3 riders returned to the track for a one day Official Test on Monday. Each team focused on their own agenda as the series prepare for the upcoming flyaway rounds – and started 2018 preparations in some cases.
In Moto2™, Championship leader and Sunday’s race winner Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) chose to focus on suspension setup with further Öhlins development following the Official Test at the Red Bull Ring back in August. With teammate Alex Marquez missing the test to recover from his injury picked up in Misano, Morbidelli also tried a smaller diameter disc from Yutaka in a productive day for the Italian. Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team), runner-up on race day, also concentrated on suspension, but only went out on track in the morning.
Red Bull KTM Ajo were amongst the busiest teams as they continue to develop their machine in its debut year in the Moto2™ class. Both Miguel Olivera and Brad Binder were looking to help find the balance between support and grip, with a new linkage setup available to try for the pair as well as a new, narrower caliper from Brembo.
Dynavolt Intact GP were the first team to be given a new Suter chassis to test, first with Marcel Schrötter and then with teammate Sandro Cortese. The hopes are that a new swingarm link will help fix the aggressive rear end of the Swiss-designed frame. Misano race winner Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) was also present on his Suter, racking up valuable track time.
Kalex were keen to begin their preparations for next season with the Sky Racing Team VR46 given an array of new parts to try ahead of 2018, including a new swingarm. Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was another rider to be given the latest swingarm from the German chassis manufacturer.
Championship contender Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) opted to work on his current setup whilst testing the new Dunlop tyre. The tyre was available for all to test and although it is the same compound as previous tyres from the brand, it has a different construction and features a wider, flatter profile.
After signing with the Japanese manufacturer ahead of the Aragon round, American Joe Roberts got his first taste of the NTS chassis that he will compete on next season with the RW Racing GP team. Roberts’ 2018 teammate Steven Odendaal was also in action on the NTS frame following his wildcard appearance on the bike in Sunday’s race.
2015 Moto3™ World Champion Danny Kent was also out on track on the Speed Up Racing machine that he will return to the intermediate class with in 2018.
In Moto3™, Sunday’s race winner Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) was looking to improve grip in hot conditions ahead of the upcoming flyaway rounds in Japan, Australia and Malaysia and the Championship leader had a new rear link to test on his Honda, as well as a new set of rims to try out.
Over at Estrella Galicia 0,0, both Aron Canet and Enea Bastianini were testing new Honda 2018 chassis parts, as was Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3). All three riders logged plenty of laps around the MotorLand circuit, with laptimes not the main focus of the day.
Meanwhile, there were big developments at rival manufacturer KTM, particularly at the Red Bull KTM Ajo squad, who had four bikes in the garage as they began to step up their development ahead of next season. Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli swapped between two bikes each throughout the day as the Austrian manufacturer looks to halt the Honda dominance in the lightweight class in 2018.
KTM backed Sky Racing Team VR46 were also given a range of 2018 parts to test, with both riders racking up laps in the Aragon sun.
The next stop is Motegi, where Mir will be hoping to wrap up the Championship – while the rest will be looking to use what they have learned to halt the Spaniard’s domination.