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Rodrigo tops Day 2 as the weather clears at Valencia

A last dash for the Argentinian rider sees him steal the top spot from Jorge Martin

After Day 1 of the Official Moto2™ and Moto3™ test at Valencia was largely rained off, Day 2 saw action back up to full speed and RBA BOE Skull Rider’s Gabriel Rodrigo set the fastest time – leaping to the top in the last minutes of track action on lap 20 of the 21 he completed. He was far from lonely up there, however, going only 0.009 faster than the previous best of Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3). Martin similarly set his quickest lap on his penultimate effort, lap 14 of 15.

Martin: "I am not focusing on the title, but race-by-race"

Track and ambient temperatures were relatively cold and damp until the early afternoon, but a hive of activity following out on track as conditions improved. There were a number of crashes in Moto3™, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) taking a tumble and limited to only a handful of laps, as well as crashes for both Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Aron Canet and rookie teammate Alonso Lopez – all riders ok.

In behind the superfast pairing of Rodrigo and Martin at the top, Marco Bezzecchi (Pruestel GP) was third fastest – a headline for the sophomore competitor as he ended the third session just under a tenth off Martin’s best after 18 laps. He was in close company, too, with Niccolo Antonelli – out on track for the first time in 2018 with new team SIC58 Squadra Corse – only 0.06 further back. That made it KTM-Honda, KTM-Honda in the top four – a tantalising prospect for 2018.

Completing the top five was another Italian settling into life in new colours, with Leopard Racing’s Enea Bastianini beginning his campaign another half a tenth back after 18 laps. That close-knit top five was followed a little further back by Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing), with the German in P6 and the final rider within half a second of Rodrigo. Then came Angel Nieto Team Moto3’s Albert Arenas in seventh, just ahead of Tony Arbolino as the Italian hit the ground running with the Marinelli Snipers Team. Suzuki held on to ninth despite his fall and decreased lap count, with Day 1’s fastest Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) rounding out the top ten.

Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) took P11 ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta as the 2016 FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Champion settles into life at Leopard Racing, with Aron Canet ending the day in P13 after his tumble. Livio Loi, riding with the new Reale Stylobike team, was P14, with Jakub Kornfeil completing the fastest fifteen.

Reigning Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Kazuki Masaki just missed out on that honour and was tenth further back at the track where he made a wildcard appearance last season, ahead of John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) as the Brit switches to a KTM. Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) flew the South African flag just behind the Scotsman, ahead of Mugello 2017 winner Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) and second fastest rookie Alonso Lopez. Fellow debutant Makar Yurchenko (CIP – Green Power) was P23 as the Kazakhstani rider moves up onto the world stage.

There’s more track action for the lightweight class on Thursday, with pitlane open from 9:30am CET. For full results, click here!

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