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The official 2019 Moto2™ Jerez Test saw the entire intermediate class grid – apart from the newly named American Team – embark on a new adventure, as they got to grips with their new Triumph powered machines.
Jerez Test welcomes a new era in Moto2™
As well as this major change, rider changes are aplenty on the 2019 Moto2™ grid. This season, we’ll see a total of ten new faces enter the fray, including British star Jake Dixon (Angel Nieto Team), Lukas Tulovic (Kiefer Racing), Dimas Ekky Pratama (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and teammate Somikat Chantra – none of which have progressed through Moto3™. Those riders include Fabio Di Giannantonio (Speed Up Racing), Italtrans Racing Team’s Enea Bastianini, Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), his teammate Philipp Oettl and SKY Racing Team VR46’s Nicolo Bulega – the latter ending the first test as the fastest rookie.
If it was a successful test for Bulega and the other rookies, it wasn’t such a positive start for reigning Moto3™ World Champion Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo). The Spaniard sustained a broken left humerus and two fractures in his right foot after a crash at Turn 2, resulting in Martin having to miss the next two days of testing as he flew home to Barcelona for surgery. This meant fellow KTM rider Iker Lecuona (American Team) stepped in for the Saturday and Sunday, with Martin expected to be fully fit for the next 2019 Jerez Test, which takes place between 20th – 22nd February.
Elsewhere, as well as the returning Tom Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP), there are some riders who have moved teams. These include Remy Gardner (SAG Team), teammate Tetsuta Nagashima, Jorge Navarro (Speed Up Racing) and Dominique Aegerter (MV Agusta Forward Racing) – the latter riding alongside Stefano Manzi as MV make a Grand Prix return after more than 40 years away.
MV Agusta unveil their 2019 bike
And there’s more. Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) – P2 on the overall timesheets in Jerez – re-joins the team he scored six podiums in 2016 with, which included two victories. He ended the test 0.268 behind fastest man Luca Marini, the Italian remaining with SKY Racing Team VR46, with third fastest Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) also staying put in 2019. However, the Spaniard has a new teammate in the form of Xavi Vierge for this season – the latter was tenth fastest. One other noticeable name on the timesheets was Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP), the Dutch rider returning after a freak accident at the Japanese GP left him with leg fractures.
In addition to the official test, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and the Speed Up Racing duo of Navarro and Di Giannantonio took part in a private test at Valencia. The winter break now begins, with the aforementioned first test back being back at Jerez between 20th – 22nd February. Check the combined standings from the three days of testing here!