Mixed feelings as Moto2™ field departs Jerez

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Friday, 22 February 2013

This week’s gathering at Jerez marked the penultimate Moto2™ test ahead of the 2013 season, with Pol Espargaró leading the way. The Tuenti HP 40 rider is threatening to be the favourite as the sports heads to Qatar and his current feelings suggest he agrees. Further down the order, others experienced more troubled times…

Sadly for those present, dark skies deposited rain on the circuit for much of the test. Fog was another added frustration, with only Wednesday providing the grid with fully dry conditions and some fully useful development opportunities.

Espargaró, last year’s class runner-up to now Repsol Honda MotoGP™ man Marc Márquez, delivered his best effort in the form of 1:42.332.

‘I’m leaving Jerez feeling good!’ the 21-year-old tweeted on Thursday night. The Catalan led the way from Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami and Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding; the Gloucester rider, perhaps more accustomed to such weather than his rivals, left the venue upbeat.

“We had some problems in the wet last year, so it was great to jump on the bike the first day in the rain and instantly have a good feeling,” he began. “The same was true in the dry the second day; the bike just felt right from the first pit exit. Overall it's been a very positive three days, despite the dodgy weather.”

The current 2013 rain meister would appear to be Nico Terol, as the Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 man topped the timesheets in both fully wet conditions on Tuesday and while negotiating the mixed, greasy surface of Thursday.

“We would have liked it dry to draw further proper conclusions, but on the other hand it’s also been good to test in these conditions…which was a very wet track in the afternoon!” Valencia-born Terol smiled. “We worked it in batches of five laps to improve our setup for the rather aquatic conditions. The team worked together perfectly, but we ended the day early because it would have been silly to risk it with the bike.”

Over at NGM Mobile Forward Racing, there were slightly contrasting thoughts from Simoni Corsi and Alex de Angelis.

“I’m satisfied with our progress,” the Italian summed up. “The bike felt very good but we still need to work hard to be able to keep up on the first lap. Unfortunately, the fall I had on the second day delayed us, so we must continue to improve.”

“Compared to Valencia, we have improved,” his team-mate added. “We did have tyre degradation problems but those have now been solved by finding a structure which allows the tyre temperatures to remain consistent. Unfortunately, we are still far from the top five and we’ve got to work very hard on that. The weather didn’t help us.”

The third and final pre-season test will be also staged at Jerez, next month. Clearly, some sunshine would be greatly appreciated by the teams and riders alike.

TAGS 2013 Jerez Circuit

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