A last-gasp effort from Luis Salom confirmed him as the fastest rider in Jerez’s Moto3™ test this week, bringing the curtain down on the 2013 pre-season. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider dipped underneath the best lap time of Maverick Viñales, who was absent on the final day due to injury.
Once again, pleasing all in the paddock and around the circuit, the Andalucian weather was ideal on Thursday. On a shorter day than the last two, Moto3 began proceedings by sharing the track with Moto2, before an hour of sole running which reached its climax shortly after midday.
Denying Estrella Galicia 0,0 of a one-two finish on the final day, Salom shot to the top of the timesheets before reducing his time further to 1’46.374 – two tenths of a second quicker than Viñales had managed on Wednesday. Boosting his morale further, Salom will test a new chassis in Estoril on Sunday and Monday. That left Álex Rins and Álex Márquez best of the rest, completing a top four shutout for both Spanish riders and KTM. Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger was next up, as he and teammate Eric Granado sandwiched Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira and Ambrogio Racing’s Brad Binder. Less than two seconds covered the top 19 riders.
Viñales was conspicuous by his absence, having been quickest on Wednesday before falling at Crivillé corner. After his right hand was trapped beneath the Team Calvo motorcycle, the suspected title contender flew back to Barcelona where the finger tip of the third finger was amputated. The setback should not prevent the Catalan rider from competing in the season-opener on 7th April.
Viñales’ teammate Ana Carrasco, the only female rider on the MotoGP™ scene this year, continued her adaptation as Danny Webb led the way for British honours, 12th overall for Ambrogio Racing. The top ten was completed by Finland’s Niklas Ajo on an Avant Techno bike, plus the Czech Republic’s Jakub Kornfeil for Redox RW Racing GP. The majority of the test has not featured new components, but much bike setup work; Wednesday in particular proved to be highly demanding, as the only dry full day of the week after the various torrential downpours of Tuesday.
The Moto3™ teams now head back to base before almost immediately preparing to travel to Qatar for the opening Grand Prix of the 2013 season.