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Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) went quickest as the 2018 Moto2™ season began to get underway, with many on the grid headed for Jerez in southern Spain – and joined by some runners from Moto3™. The test is notable as it marks the first run out on a Moto2™ machine for the rookie contingent, including 2017 Moto3™ Champion Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and runner up Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) – as well as letting teams and chassis manufacturers begin work for next season. A 'private' test with no official timing, the majority of the field were nevertheless on site.
Bagnaia, 2017 Rookie of the Year, went top – with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) taking second as Kalex made it a 1-2 on the timesheets. KTM, winner of the final three races of the year, took third with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – who also tested a new chassis. Luca Marini, moving to partner Bagnaia at Sky Racing Team VR46, was fourth fastest as the second KTM of Brad Binder closed out the top five. Isaac Viñales (SAG Team) was P6, ahead of Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team), Lorenzo Baldassarri on his new Pons HP 40 machine and Fabio Quartararo on the Speed Up for the first time.
It was all eyes on the rookies, however, and Joan Mir was the fastest as he moves to EG 0,0 Marc VDS. The 2017 Moto3™ Champion was fourteenth quickest on Day 1 – 1.4 seconds off the front. Fenati, meanwhile, began his intermediate class career 2.1 seconds off in P24 – just behind fellow graduate Bo Bendsneyder (Tech 3 Racing).
Sam Lowes (CGBM Evolution) went tenth quickest on his first day back in Moto2™, this time riding a KTM in the class after previous experience on a Kalex and Speed Up. Fellow former premier class rider Hector Barbera (Pons HP 40) was fifteenth quickest, and Danny Kent (Speed Up Racing) was P16 as he gets back on track and switches to Speed Up.
In Moto3™, Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was the quickest – ahead of Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) and Honda Team Asia duo Nakarin Atiratphuvapat and Kaito Toba. Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) began his full-time ride at the VR46 squad without a transponder and therefore not on the timesheets – but the 2017 FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Champion has impressed in his 2017 appearances on the world stage.
Jerez will host testing once more next week – this time for MotoGP™.
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