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Axel Pons remains fastest overall as Lowes leads third day

Axel Pons remains fastest overall as Lowes leads third day

The first official Moto2™ test drew to a close in Jerez, Sam Lowes leading the final day but unable to catch Axel Pons’ incredible lap.

Heavy fog during the morning session on Friday saw only Efren Vazquez (JPMoto Malaysia) venture out on track, the Spanish rider not setting a lap time. The second session saw the sun return, Moto2™ riders able to continue their testing work. Although it was Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) who set a 1’42.075 to lead the final day of testing, Axel Pons’ 1’41.730 from Thursday sees the AGR Team rider leave the Jerez Test as the fastest rider in the intermediate class. It was not a perfect test for Pons who did not venture out on track after a heavy fall on Thursday after setting his fast lap.

The fastest Moto2™ lap during a Grand Prix weekend still stands at 1’42.706, set by Stefan Bradl in 2011. Pons’ time was almost a second faster, but Lowes was also under the record lap by over half a second. The final session of the test not only saw Lowes improve, but Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team) was also able to set his fastest lap of the test, a 1’42.174 again well under Bradl’s record.

Fourth fastest overall was Paginas Amarillas HP 40’s Alex Rins with a 1’42.186s set on his 17th lap of 23 in the last session of Friday. Having had very limited private testing before Jerez, Rins focused primarily on getting comfortable on his 2016 Kalex with longer runs. Tom Luthi’s (Garage Plus Interwetten) 1’42.271 from the first day stood as the Swiss rider’s best time, seeing him complete a competitive top five.

With all of the top 11 riders under Bradl’s circuit record, the 2016 Moto2™ season looks set to be an exciting battle with riders already flying at the first pre-season test. The Jerez Test also allowed Dunlop to test several new tyre options for the 2016 season, include a hard tyre options for circuits such as Argentina, Australia and Sepang with newer surfaces.

Dominique Aegerter (CarXpert Interwetten), Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Marcel Schrotter (AGR Team) formed the remainder of the top ten on combined times, all within 0.8s.

Reigning Moto2™ World Champion Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) was 14th and 1.222 seconds back on Pons’ fastest time. Meanwhile Danny Kent’s (Leopard Racing) return to the middle class continues to progress well, the Moto3™ Champion ending 12th on combined times.

Simone Corsi (Speed Up) led the charge of Speed Up mounted riders with a 1’42.943s, placing in 13th and as the leading non-Kalex machine. Xavi Vierge (Tech 3) racing had a vigorous testing schedule aboard the new Mistral 610, testing a variety of parts for the French team. Having only recently ensured his future in Moto2™, Efren Vazquez was able to run on the Suter for the first time and made steady improvements to get within five seconds of the fastest rider.

The intermediate class will have one final test at Qatar from the 11th to 13th of March before the 2016 season begins at the same circuit just a few days later.

Full times from all three days can be accessed here.

Tags:
Moto2, 2016, JEREZ MOTO2™ - MOTO3™ OFFICIAL TEST, FP, Axel Pons, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Sam Lowes

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