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Junior classes stand by for opening test

Junior classes stand by for opening test

The World Championship stars of the future are all-set for their first Official Test of 2014 as those competing in Moto2™ and Moto3™ ride at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit between Tuesday 11 and Thursday 13 February.

In Moto2™, last year’s World Champion Pol Espargaro has now stepped up to MotoGP™ with Monster Yamaha Tech3. Perhaps there is no better motivation for those who now battle for the vacant intermediate class crown.

One likely challenger should be Espargaro’s former team-mate Tito Rabat, who has now joined Mika Kallio at the Marc VDS Racing Team which in 2013 housed championship runner-up and three-time Grand Prix winner Scott Redding – also now a MotoGP™ rider. However, they can expect stiff competition from the Tuenti HP 40 Pons team Rabat has left behind, now housing reigning Moto3™ World Champion Maverick Viñales and his own rival Luis Salom. The 2012 Moto3™ title winner also remains in Moto2™, as Sandro Cortese and Dynavolt Intact GP approach the upcoming season and with renewed optimism. Caterham Moto Racing must not be forgotten either, as the legendary name ventures into motorcycle racing for the first time with rapid Johann Zarco and American Josh Herrin spearheading the line-up.

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Moto3™ in 2014, as well. Ahead of significant rule changes next year, when the engine rev limit decreases further, the biggest technical change for now is Emilio Alzamora’s Estrella Galicia 0,0 outfit switching back from KTM to Honda machinery whilst retaining its proven rider combination of rapid Spaniards Alex Rins (who lost last year’s title at the final corner of the final race) and Alex Marquez (brother of MotoGP™ World Champion Marc). That is not to mention that Red Bull KTM Ajo is now running impressive Jack Miller alongside Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Karel Hanika, with subsidiary KTM company Husqvarna joining the fray with Niklas Ajo and Moto3™ returnee Danny Kent. Also watch out for Mahindra Racing, plus the new Team Sky-VR46 squad; in collaboration with none other than Valentino Rossi, the team is set to boost the careers of Italian stars Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia.

The Valencia gathering is the first of three Official Tests this pre-season in which the Moto2™ and Moto3™ classes will share a circuit, with the second two coming at Jerez between 18-20 February and 11-13 March, respectively.

Time schedule, Tuesday to Thursday:
10:00-12:40 – Moto2™/Moto3™ combined
12:50-13:50 – Moto3™ only
14:00-15:00 – Moto2™ only
15:10-17:00 – Moto2™/Moto3™ combined
Note: Displayed in local time (GMT +1)

Follow Live Timing of this week’s test in Valencia:
- Moto2™
- Moto3™

Moto2, 2014

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