2013 Mugello Post-Race Moto2 Test: Espargaro Finds Speed In Rain-Stricken Test
While the MotoGP riders packed up and headed home after the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, the Moto2 and Moto3 classes stayed on for their first official in-season test. There was plenty to test, with Marc VDS having brought a new swingarm, Dunlop having new tires to try, Suter having a new fairing, FCC having new clutch parts, and a lot of set up work to try, but the weather was not inclined to cooperate. Heavy rain towards the end of the morning cut testing short for several riders, with about half the field staying on for the afternoon.
Pol Espargaro found an improved set up, which solved some of the grip problems he has been having for most of the year, and posted the fastest time of both the day and the weekend. He improved his qualifying time by nearly a full second, and was nearly a quarter of a second faster than Scott Redding's pole time from Saturday. Takaaki Nakagami also improved on his qualifying time, also dipping under the time set by Redding, as the Japanese rider focused on solving clutch issues which had caused him problems during the race. Tito Rabat was third fastests, rounding out a trio of Kalexes.
A couple of Suters followed, Mapfre Aspar's Jordi Torres setting the fourth fastest time ahead of Johann Zarco. Zarco, who scored his first podium the day before, worked with a new seat and fairing from Suter, which he felt offered an improvement. Championship leader Scott Redding had a new swingarm to test, the team having submitted a design to Kalex, but conditions were against the young Englishman. Redding posted just 9 full laps before the rain put an early end to his day.
Just what improvements the test will bring will be evident in two weeks' time, when Moto2 reconvenes at the Montmelo circuit for the Catalunya round of the series. With Espargaro living just a stone's throw away from the circuit, he will hope that the lessons learned at Mugello will allow him to return to the front of Moto2 in front of his home crowd.
Times, courtesy of MotoGP.com:
|Pos||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff||QP time||Diff QP +/-|
|11||Danny Kent||Tech 3||1:53.957||1.240||1:55.050||-1.093|
|14||Anthony West||Speed Up||1:54.054||1.337||1:54.721||-0.667|
|16||Simone Corsi||Speed Up||1:54.186||1.469||1:53.708||+0.478|
|17||Mattia Pasini||Speed Up||1:54.192||1.475||1:54.395||-0.203|
|19||Alex De Angelis||Speed Up||1:54.433||1.716||1:53.466||+0.967|
|23||Alberto Moncayo||Speed Up||1:54.868||2.151||1:55.677||-0.809|
|24||Ricky Cardus||Speed Up||1:55.265||2.548||1:54.922||+0.343|
|25||Louis Rossi||Tech 3||1:55.403||2.686||1:54.865||+0.538|
|27||Steven Odendaal||Speed Up||1:55.721||3.004||1:55.496||+0.225|
|28||Mike Di Meglio||Motobi||1:55.861||3.144||1:54.399||+1.462|
|30||Doni Tata Pradita||Suter||1:56.553||3.836||1:55.416||+1.137|
|31||Rafid Topan Sucipto||Speed Up||1:58.006||5.289||1:57.055||+0.951|
The last two columns show the time set during qualifying, and the difference in time compared with the test time. Negative numbers mean that riders were faster at the test, positive numbers that they were slower at the test.