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6 days ago
By motogp.com

Oliveira takes first blood in Jerez

Portuguese rider fastest in the first Official Test of 2017

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) kept his impressive preseason form rolling as action opened at the Circuito de Jerez, going fastest on Day 1 of the first Official Test of the year despite a crash. The test marks the first time the entire intermediate class grid have been on track together this year, and is the official debut of the new KTM Moto2™ chassis – which went quickest straight out the blocks.

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Oliveira debuts KTM on top

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Jerez Moto2™ Test - Day 1 Reactions

Sunny skies and perfect weather characterized the first day, with three 70-minute sessions available for each class. There were some notable absences, with 2016 San Marino GP winner Lorenzo Baldassari (Forward Racing Team) sitting out the sessions due to an inflamed tendon in his arm, and Sky Racing Team VR46 new recruit Stefano Manzi sidelined with a knee injury, but the timesheets were full once again for the first time since 2016.

Big news saw reigning Moto3™ Champion Brad Binder was back on track after missing some private test days during preseason. The South African broke his arm in Valencia during testing at the end of 2016, and recovery took longer than originally forecast. Binder was down in P18 in session one on a 1:44.061, before improving to a 1:43.367 in the second session in a big leap forward – his fastest lap of the day.

Fellow Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Oliveira's fastest lap was a 1:42.316, set during session two, as the Portuguese rider was one of only three riders to break the 1:43 barrier. The others, Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team), both set their fastest laps in session one. The combined timesheets for the day saw the top three lead from a close group of Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team), Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), Tom Luthi (CarXpert Interwetten), Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), who ended the day in the same tenth. Debutant Khairul Idham Pawi (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) impressed a little further back in P9, with fellow rookie Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completing the top ten.

Moto2™ are back on track on Thursday for the second of the three Official Test days in their first outing of the year.