The Italian sophomore storms to the top on Day 2 and the Argentinean edges the Scot by 0.005.
The second day of the Official Moto2™ and Moto3™ test at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto saw Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) storm to the top in the intermediate class, with Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) claiming P1 in the lightweight class – as they both had done last week at the private test at the venue. The conditions allowed plenty of running once again, with the day warmer still and the field making the most of the southern Spanish weather.
In Moto2™, Bezzecchi set the timing screens alight in the second session of Day 2 to set a new lap record. The Italian’s 1:40.448 was enough to beat an incredible performance from rookie Aron Canet (Aspar Team) by 0.262 on Thursday, with the injured Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) claiming an equally impressive P3.
Both Bezzecchi and Canet beat Remy Gardner’s (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) new lap record time set on Day 1, the Australian finishing P13 on the second day of action. Fourth on Thursday was the experienced Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) as both the Swiss rider and Spaniard Jorge Navarro (Speed Up Racing) dipped below the 1:41 barrier. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) ended the day sixth fastest to finish 0.666 off Bezzecchi’s benchmark, but it wasn’t the day his teammate Jake Dixon would have been looking for. The British rider suffered a crash at Turn 2 in the second session which damaged his right-hand ring finger, the Moto2™ sophomore will now miss Day 3 as he flies back to the UK for further medical checks.
Seventh fastest went the way of Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with Italians Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40) and Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) next up, also finishing seventh tenths off top spot. Completing the top 10 was American Racing’s Joe Roberts, the American setting his best lap in the final session of the day.
One thing spotted in the EG 0,0 Marc VDS box was two extra bikes under Kalex covers for Augusto Fernandez. One of the two is expected to be testing Kalex’s 2020 chassis, something that Edgar Pons (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) tried on Day 1 and impressed with.
In Moto3™, Rodrigo set his 1:45.170 – the fastest lap of the test so far – in the final session of Day 2, just pipping John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) to the post as the Scotsman was second fastest for the second day in a row, just 0.005 off. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) was up the sharp end again to finish P3 on Thursday, another impressive showing from the 2019 rookie and podium finisher.
In terms of new parts being tested, the SIC58 Squadra Corse and Rivacold Snipers Team were trying new swingarms, and it was SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki who claimed P4 on the Day 2 timesheets, 0.316 off Rodrigo. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) completed the top five, just ahead of Day 1 pacesetter Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0), who was sixth on Thursday.
Seventh fastest went to Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – the leading KTM rider – who finished under half a second from P1, ahead of Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) and Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team), who were next up and within half a second or so of the top.
Unfortunately for Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), his day would end during the morning as the Italian suffered a dislocated shoulder after a crash at Turn 9. Albert Arenas (Aspar Team) also crashed at Turn 9 but the Spaniard was unscathed, with Arenas, Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) and Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) also crashing, in those cases at Turn 2 – riders ok.
Head to motogp.com for more reactions and follow the action on Live Timing as the test continues for a final day on Friday.