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First day of private testing concludes in Valencia

First day of private testing concludes in Valencia

Several Moto2™ and Moto3™ World Championship teams began a two-day private test at the Valencia circuit, the first day hit with rain.

Eight riders from the Moto2™ World Championship were out on track at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo alongside 20 Moto3™ riders as the build up to the 2016 season begins. With the winter testing ban having lifted earlier in February, teams and riders are now able to begin using their allocated testing days to take to the track and prepare for the season ahead. Unfortunately a spell of high wind and rain late in the day limited the amount of track time available to the riders. Leading the way in the intermediate class was Ajo Motorsport’s Johann Zarco, the 2015 Moto2™ World Champion setting a best unofficial time of 1’35.3 during his 64 laps.

Behind the Frenchman was reigning Moto3™ World Champion Danny Kent, the Brit returning to the Moto2™ class and setting a 1’36.2, the same time as Jonas Folger who moves to the Dynavolt intact GP team for 2016. His teammate, Sandro Cortese, completed 47 laps with an unofficial best time of 1’36.6, putting him ahead of CEV Repsol Moto2™ runner-up Xavi Vierge. Miguel Oliveira, who will partner Kent in the Leopard Racing team, was sixth ahead of Moto2™ rookie Isaac Viñales on the Tech 3 bike.

Alex Rins was also present but chose to test on a production 600cc machine as opposed to his Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex.

In the Moto3™ class it was another Ajo rider, Brad Binder, who topped the times. The South African set a time of 1’40.4 to lead the lightweight class on unofficial times and completed 50 laps. Behind him was former Moto3™ Junior World Championship front-runner Joan Mir who steps up to the Leopard Racing team as they move to KTM machinery in 2016. The Leopard Racing squad spent two days prior to the Valencia test in Barcelona with both their Moto2™ and Moto3™ teams.

Fabio Quartararo, also part of the Leopard Racing team, was third with a 1’40.7 and ahead of Niccolo Bulega and Romano Fenati who rounded out the top five. All were under the 1’41 barrier and made it a KTM lockout amongst the top riders. In sixth Enea Bastianini was the leading Honda rider with a 1’41.0, just 0.1s ahead of Moto3™ rookie and Red Bull Rookies Cup champion Bo Bendsneyder. Jorge Navarro, Livio Loi and Gabriel Rodrigo completed the top ten.

With a 1’41.5 Andrea Locatelli was 11th and just ahead of Jules Danilo on the Honda. Khairul Idham Pawi was a respectable 13th as he made his debut with Honda Team Asia, beating teammate Hiroki Ono who was 14th and ahead of Jakub Kornfeil, the Drive M7 SIC Racing team adjusting to life with Honda machinery.

Juanfran Guevara, Fabio Di Giannantonio, Adam Norrodin and Andrea Migno completed the top 19. Niccolo Antonelli completed 16 laps but failed to set a lap time.

There will be a further day of testing on Friday the 12th of February. The first official Moto2™ and Moto3™ test will take place on the second of March at the Jerez circuit in Spain.

Moto2, 2016, Johann Zarco, Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Ajo, Ajo Motorsport

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