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Fenati remains top in Moto3™ as Bulega tops final day

Fenati remains top in Moto3™ as Bulega tops final day

Romano Fenati rules the roost in the lightweight class as the top ten are split by a meager half a second after three days.

Weather once again delayed proceedings in Jerez for the Moto3™ World Championship on their final day of testing. The morning session had just seven riders set a time, none within a second of the fastest laps of the test. Fortunately the weather cleared and allowed all to continue their work programmes. Sun and warm temperatures across the final two sessions saw Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) on top once again. The rookie set a 1’46.539, his fastest time of the test so far. Bulega was one of just nine riders to improve their times on the final day. It has overall been an incredibly encouraging test for the Moto3™ Junior World Champion who has demonstrated his high level.

Bulega’s SKY Racing Team VR46 teammate, Romano Fenati, managed to maintain his position on top of the time screens thanks to his 1’46.445 from the third session of the second day. The time was still 0.3s off Jack Miller’s best lap at the Jerez circuit, but 0.060s clear of his rivals. With all three of the SKY Racing Team VR46 riders inside the top ten, it appears the Valentino Rossi backed team have hit the ground running in 2016. Of the top ten, five were KTM machines, the Austrian manufacturer aiming to reclaim the rider’s championship in the lightweight class after losing to Honda in 2014 and 2015.

Second overall and third on the final day, Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was the leading Honda rider on combined times and 0.060s behind Romano Fenati. In all but one session Navarro completed more than 15 laps, the Spaniard focusing more on race pace than a single flying lap across the three days.

Thanks to his time on the final day, Bulega slotted into third on the combined times and finished 0.011s ahead of his fellow VR46 Academy Rider Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold). As one of the more experienced riders in the class, Antonelli has his sights set on the championship in 2016 and was towards the top of all the sessions at the Jerez test.

Along with Bulega, Brad Binder was another to improve his time on the final day. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider led the second session on Friday, his 1’46.618 0.008s faster than his best time from Thursday and good enough for fifth on combined times. Binder is still hunting his first win in the lightweight class after coming tantalisingly close on multiple occasions in previous years.

Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3), Joan Mir (Leopard Racing), Livio Loi (RW Racing GP), Jorge Martin (Aspar Mahindra Team) and Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) rounded out the top ten as the first official test ended in Jerez.

Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) was another rookie who impressed on the final day, putting his KTM third on Friday and seventh on the combined times.

Both Mahindra and Peugeot have been experimenting with winglets throughout the three-day test. While they are a popular addition to bikes in the premiere class, Mahindra and Peugeot are the first to implement them in Moto3™. As 2016 sees Mahindra introduce a heavily revised MGP3O, it is near impossible to tell if the winglets have had a drastic effect on the bike’s performance.

There will be one final pre-season test for the Moto3™ test from the 11th to 13th of March in Qatar before the 2016 season curtain raiser at the same circuit on the 20th of March.

Times and results from all three days are viewable here.

Moto3, 2016, JEREZ MOTO2™ - MOTO3™ OFFICIAL TEST, FP, Romano Fenati, Jorge Navarro, Nicolo Bulega

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4 years ago

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