Posted: 14 Mar 2014
The final pre-season test for Moto2 and Moto3 riders got underway this week at Jerez, before teams fly out to Qatar for the first round of the championship next week.
With the Marc VDS and Aspar teams absent following the Phillip Island tyre test, it was Takaaki Nakagami who led the way for the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia squad, setting a fastest time of 1’42.206. Just a fraction outside the time set by Mika Kallio during the last test at the Andalusian circuit.
Sandro Cortese set the second fastest time, the 2012 Moto3 World Champion just two tenths slower than Nakagami with Interwetten Paddock’s Thomas Luthi in third place with the Suter chassis. Xavier Simeon posted a 1’42.556 to take fourth spot on the Gresini Suter ahead of Caterham’s Johann Zarco.
Moto3 graduate Luis Salom set the sixth fastest time on the Pons Kalex ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri and Alex de Angelis. Dominque Aegerter and Simone Corsi rounded out the top ten, just six tenths off Nakagami’s fastest time.
Reigning Moto3 champion, Maverick Vinales set the tenth fastest time 0.666 from the leader ahead of Jonas Folger. Britain’s Sam Lowes managed to lap thirteenth fastest, despite having missed the second two days of the test with a mystery wrist injury. Lowes was third fastest on the first day.
In Moto3 it was Australian, Jack Miller who set the pace at 1’46.259 but the real revelation came in second place. After Honda’s new Moto3 bike had struggled throughout testing so far, Alex Marquez was just one tenth slower than Miller’s KTM. Red Bull rookies champion, Karel Hanika set the third fastest time, just over a tenth off his team mate with Jakub Kornfeil.
Honda’s improvement wasn’t only seen in Marquez, with Saxoprint-RTG Honda teammates Efren Vazquez and John McPhee in fifth and sixth respectively. Returning to Moto3 for 2014, Danny Kent set the seventh fastest time on the Red Bull Husqvarna ahead of Isaac Vinales, Romano Fenati and Miguel Oliveira.
The season gets underway for all classes next Thursday in Qatar.
Moto2 Top Ten:
1. T. NAKAGAMI - Idemitsu Honda Team Asia - 1'42.206
2. S. CORTESE - Dynavolt Intact GP - 1'42.393
3. T. LUTHI - Interwetten Paddock Moto2 - 1'42.472
4. X. SIMEON - Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 - 1'42.566
5. J. ZARCO - AirAsia Caterham Moto2 - 1'42.616
6. L. SALOM - Pons HP 40 - 1'42.628
7. L. BALDASSARRI - Gresini Moto2 - 1'42.639
8. A. DE ANGELIS - Tasca Racing Moto2 - 1'42.699
9. D. AEGERTER - Technomag CarXpert - 1'42.778
10. S. CORSI - NGM Forward Racing - 1'42.822
Moto3 Top Ten:
1. J. MILLER - Red Bull KTM Ajo - 1'46.259
2. A. MARQUEZ - Estrella Galicia 0.0 Honda - 1'46.359
3. K. HANIKA - Red Bull KTM Ajo - 1'46.381
4. J. KORNFEIL - Calvo KTM - 1'46.388
5. E. VAZQUEZ - Saxoprint-RTG Honda - 1'46.392
6. J. MCPHEE - Saxoprint-RTG Honda - 1'46.
7. D. KENT - Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo - 1'46.547
8. I. VINALES - Calvo KTM - 1'46.551
9. R. FENATI - Sky Racing Team by VR46 - 1'46.612
10. M. OLIVERIA - Mahindra Racing - 1'46.612