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10 days ago
By motogp.com

Bagnaia and Canet fastest on Day 1 in Jerez

Rain disrupts opening day of action in Andalucia

The final Official Test for Moto2™ and Moto3™ kicked off on Tuesday, with three days of track action scheduled before the season gets underway in Qatar in 10 days time. It was Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) who continued his impressive pre-season form to top the intermediate class, while Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) made use of the limited track time to head the lightweight pack.

With poor weather forecast for the week, riders and teams were keen to make use of the track time available ahead of the season opener. The Moto2™ field were first out but had their first session curtailed as rain began to fall and the weather failed to clear up before the opening Moto3™ session.

Bagnaia, who recently signed a deal to step-up to MotoGP™ with Alma Pramac Racing in 2019, topped the first Moto2™ session and was the only rider in the 1:42 bracket before the rain came down. When the intermediate class returned to the track in the afternoon, the 2017 Moto2™ Rookie of the Year went quicker still, making use of the resurfaced Jerez circuit to dip under the lap record and head the times from the impressive Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors). The rain returned during the afternoon, preventing anyone from bettering their times.

Trailing the quickest pair at the top, class rookie Romano Fenati (Marinelli Snipers Team) was third fastest ahead of 2017 Jerez race winner Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). Lorenzo Baldassari (Pons HP40) was close behind as the Italian rounded out the top five in his new team colours.

Xavi Vierge was next along with the Spaniard adapting well to his Kalex machine at Dynavolt Intact GP. Luca Marini continued his strong 2018 form with his new SKY Racing VR46 setup in seventh, heading the KTM mounted duo of Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and the returning Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors). Vierge’s teammate, Marcel Schrotter completed the top 10.

Reigning Moto3™ Champion Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) will miss the test due to a training accident and the Spaniard was joined on the sidelines by Isaac Viñales (SAG Team) who missed out on Day 1 with a shoulder injury.

The rain affected day resulted in just one fully dry session for the Moto3™ field and it was 2017 Jerez race winner Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) who lead the way from former teammate Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing).

With the Moto2™ pack out first, the lightweight class waited eagerly for their chance to hit the track, but with the rain failing just before the opening session, just 12 riders ventured out. Andrea Migno (Ángel Nieto Team Moto3) topped the session, albeit three seconds off the lap record pace.

Canet, who took his debut Grand Prix win at Jerez last season, set a time of 1:46.642 in the second session to top the timesheets, making him the only rider to break the 1:47 barrier. The Spaniard’s teammate and World Championship rookie Alonso Lopez ended the day in fourth, behind Bastianini and Marco Bezzecchi (PruestlGP), the latter ending the day as the top KTM in third. Lap record holder Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) rounded out the top five.

The smaller classes return to the Spanish circuit tomorrow for another chance to prepare themselves as the season opener edges ever closer.