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Private testing in Valencia concludes

Private testing in Valencia concludes

Moto2™ and Moto3™ teams completed two days of private testing at the Valencia circuit ahead of the first official test in March.

As the start of the 2016 season looms, pre-season preparations are fully underway as a multitude of Moto2™ and Moto3™ World Championship teams and riders participated in a private test at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, hoping to make the most of the final weeks before racing begins. In the Moto2™ class it was Johann Zarco who led the way on Thursday, the 2015 World Champion again topping the time sheets on Friday with an unofficial best time of 1’34.5. No rider has yet to successfully defend a Moto2™ title; the Ajo Motorsport rider plans to be the first in 2016.

Half a second back on Zarco was Jonas Folger, who himself was half a second faster than Xavi Vierge. In third, Vierge, on the Mistral 610 Tech 3 bike, was the highest placed non-Kalex rider and completed 90 laps, 11 more than any other Moto2™ rider. Moto2™ rookie Miguel Oliveira showed well in fourth with a 1’35.6, 0.2s faster than Sandro Cortese who enters his fourth year in the intermediate class. Sixth was Danny Kent with the Leopard Racing team, almost a second clear of Isaac Viñales on the Tech 3 bike.

In the lightweight class it was Brad Binder who had led the way on Thursday, but Friday saw Jorge Navarro put Honda back on top with a 1’39.4, an identical time to Romano Fenati. The pair set almost an identical number of laps as well, Navarro completing 64 as Fenati did 65 on the second day. Navarro suffered a small fall but was unhurt.

Making it two SKY Racing Team VR46 riders inside the top three was Moto3™ World Championship debutant Nicolo Bulega with Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder just behind. Both riders were able to get under the 1’40 barrier and are making their intent to challenge for the championship clear. Joan Mir, who had several breath-taking battles with Bulega in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship in 2015, was fifth with a 1’40.0. Mir’s time was matched by fellow Moto3™ Junior World Championship front-runner Khairul Idham Pawi, the Malaysian continuing to make waves with his rapid adaption.

Completing the top ten were Livio Loi, who suffered a fall but was uninjured, Enea Bastianini, Juanfran Guevara and Bo Bendsneyder. All were within a second of Navarro’s best time, the lightweight class already building towards another close and hard-fought year.

Just behind was Gabriel Rodrigo in 11th, ahead of Fabio Quartararo who completed 60 laps on the second day. Japan’s Hiroki Ono set a 1’40.7, as did Quartararo and Fabio Di Giannantonio. Both Jakub Kornfeil and Andrea Migno set a best unofficial time of 1’40.8, while Jules Danilo completed a staggering 88 laps on the second day. Guevara also completed 88 laps, the pair setting by far the most laps of any riders present for the Moto3™ test. Andrea Locatelli and Adam Norrodin continued to adjust to their new machines, as once more Niccolo Antonelli did not record a time across his 48 laps.

Moto2, 2016, Jorge Navarro, Johann Zarco

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