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The second Official Test for Moto2™ and Moto3™ began on Monday, with three days of running giving the intermediate and lightweight classes some more track time ahead of the season opener in Qatar. On Day 1 it was Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) who went quickest, with a 1:42.330 to go 0.166 ahead of second fastest Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). Sky Racing Team VR46 and EG 0,0 Marc VDS were absent from the first test at Valencia, and hit back in style.
It began dry before some rain in the middle of the day, but the sun was back out in the afternoon and the track dried out fast enough. Bagnaia set his fastest lap late on, a few tenths quicker than in the morning.
Behind the fastest duo at the top, Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) was third quickest and 0.062 off Marquez, with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) breaking the stranglehold of Kalex to take fourth for KTM – again by much less than a tenth. The close timesheets saw every rider within a tenth of the man in front from second down to P14 – a tantalising prospect for the season.
Baldassarri on his move to the Pons HP40 team in 2018
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP 40) rounded out the top five ahead of compatriot Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), who was within half a second of his teammate at the top. The VR46-backed squad are one of the few to have a more major change for this year, switching from Öhlins suspension to WP. Veteran Italian Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) added more Italian representation to the top ten in seventh, ahead of Xavi Vierge in P8 as the Spaniard settles in on Kalex machinery at Dynavolt Intact GP.
Barbera on the difference between a Moto2™ and MotoGP™ bike
0.009 in arrears, Isaac Viñales (SAG Team) was again showing great pace on the opening day in Jerez after similarly impressing in Valencia, ahead of Moto2™ rookie Hector Barbera (Pons HP 40), who rounded out the top ten. Barbera is a former runner up in the intermediate class, but when it was the 250 World Championship. Now moving to Moto2™ from the premier class, the Spaniard was ill for the first days at the Valencia test but nevertheless has shown consistent and progressing pace.
Brad Binder: "I'm really excited to find my form for 2018"
2016 Moto3™ World Champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was P11for KTM, ahead of the fastest of the Moto3™ graduates this season: Romano Fenati (Marinelli Snipers Team). And it was an identical gap back to the returning Danny Kent (Beta Tools Speed Up Racing) in P13, with 0.089 between them. Fourteenth was another KTM with Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors), former Moto2™ title contender, getting to grips with his new bike, ahead of reigning Moto3™ Champion Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS).
Joe Roberts on his full-time Moto2™ debut with NTS in 2018
Eric Granado (Forward Racing Team) was the fastest Suter and just over 1.3 off the top, with American rookie Joe Roberts keeping the stars and stripes – and new NTS chassis – 0.019 off the Brazilian’s best. The first Tech 3 machine, Remy Gardner, slotted in just behind the rider from the US with another incredibly small gap of less than half a tenth in it, with South African Steven Odendaal only 0.023 further off on the second NTS RW Racing GP machine.
Granado strikes back... to Moto2™
More track action gets underway tomorrow for Day 2 of three, with pitlane open from 10:00 (GMT +1). For full results, click here!