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Valencia hosts first Test of the 2012 Championship

Valencia hosts first Test of the 2012 Championship

Almost in parallel with the test that the majority of the MotoGP™ teams are attending in Malaysia—starting tomorrow at Sepang—the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia today saw Aleix Espargaró, Randy De Puniet (Aprilia Aspar) and Mattia Pasini (Speed Master) take their first laps aboard their respective CRT machines, with several Moto3™ riders joining them.

The MotoGP™ season kicked off at the Valencia circuit with a private test that saw several CRT (Claiming Rule Team) riders aboard the bikes that will debut in the MotoGP World Championship this season. Aleix Espargaró was the first to take advantage of the sunny weather, taking to the asphalt around 11am aboard the ART bike of the Aspar Team.

The team led by Jorge "Aspar" Martínez is the most active at this test, with four riders present: Alongside Espargaró was Frenchman Randy De Puniet and the team’s two Moto3 representatives, Hector Faubel and Alberto Moncayo.

De Puniet, who sports the same number 14 that he rode with in 2011 during his time with Pramac Racing, waited until late in the morning take to the track on his CRT and immediately lapped faster than Espargaró.

With the rest of the MotoGP field preparing for the first Official Test at Sepang, Italian rider Mattia Pasini made his debut at Valencia in the premier class following the announcement last weekend of his move to MotoGP with the Speed Master the team. Pasini completed his first laps at the controls of the ART (Aprilia Racing Technology) bike, which included a minor crash shortly after his first outing.

Ajo Motorsports also had four riders present at the test: Zulfahmi Khairuddin riding for Air Asia Sic Ajo and the Red Bull KTM Ajo trio composed of Sandro Cortese, Danny Kent and Australian rookie Arthur Sissis (runner-up Red Bull Rookies Cup champion 2011).

Luis Salom (RW Racing), who suffered some technical problems throughout the session, his teammate Brad Binder (arriving in World Championship from the Rookies Cup) and Finland's Niklas Ajo—the only team representative from the TT Motion Events team—completed the group of the Moto3 riders present at this test.

Unofficial lap times Monday (recorded by teams):

MotoGP (CRT)
1.- Randy De Puniet, ART 1.35.3 (38 laps)
2.- Aleix Espargaró, ART 1’36.7 (47 laps)
3.- Mattia Pasini, ART 1’37.8 (30 laps)

1.- Luis Salom, 1’43.2 (32 laps)
2.- Alberto Moncayo, 1’43.3 (52 laps)
3.- Héctor Faubel, 1’43.7 (62 laps)
3.- Sandro Cortese, 1’43.7 (48 laps)
5.- Nikklas Ajo, 1’43.9 (50 laps)
6.- Danny Kent, 1’44.6 (45 laps)
7.- Zulfahmi Khairuddin, 1’45.4 (44 laps)
8.- Arthur Sissis, 1’45.9 (45 laps)
9.- Brad Binder, 1’47.2 (25 laps)

MotoGP, 2011

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