Latest MotoGP Results
Blue skies and warm weather greeted the Moto2 and Moto3 riders in Jerez, for the start of the final test ahead of the season opener at Qatar. The weather helped the Moto3 men and woman get up to speed quickly, though there was plenty of work going on in the pits as well. Mapfre Aspar's Jonas Folger ended the day as fastest, the German bringing a welcome break to the hegemony of Spanish riders which has so far been a feature of Moto3 testing. Folger's progress was clear from the previous test, improving his own time by six tenths of a second, to lead Alex Rins by a quarter of a second.
While the Kalex KTM rider spent his afternoon concentrating on riding, the three Spaniards who followed him all had new parts to test for their factory KTM machines. Alex Rins was the best of the group, though there was nothing to choose between him, Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom. That trio has dominated testing so far, but today, they did not have the measure of Folger.
Brad Binder is the first of the non-KTMs, the Ambrogio Racing man three quarters of a second behind Folger. Binder's Suter Honda leads Miguel Oliveira on the Suter-built Mahindra, while Binder's teammate Danny Webb took 7th spot, and the last rider to get within a second of Folger.
Dani Pedrosa was once again fastest on the final day of testing at Sepang, topping the timesheets for the fifth time in six total days of testing at Sepang. Though the Repsol Honda man looks to be the preseason favorite so far, he does not leave the test as fastest overall, however. That honor goes to Jorge Lorenzo, who put in a scorching lap on Wednesday to set the fastest time over all three days of the test.
The riders got off to a late start on Thursday, rain meaning that the bulk of the riders kept to their garages until the track started to dry out at the end of the morning. A few men put in laps in the wet, but once the track dried out, enough riders started putting in laps to clean the worst of the dirt left by the rain from the track, though track conditions were never as good as on the first couple of days. Pedrosa soon took charge of proceedings, later knocking another half a second off his time late in the afternoon. Rookie Repsol teammate Marc Marquez impressed yet again, taking 2nd on the timesheets with his very last lap, after the final 30 minutes of the session turned into a qualifying session. Marquez continued to concentrate on learning the ropes on a MotoGP machine, and the longer runs he put in were a little further off the pace of Pedrosa, and still not as consistent as they will need to be, but he proved with his flying lap that he will be starting from the front of the grid by the time the season starts.
Jorge Lorenzo ended the final day of the test with the 3rd fastest time, but leaves Sepang as fastest overall. Lorenzo's best time was over four tenths slower than Pedrosa's on Thursday, but the Spaniard spent the latter part of the day working on race set up, ending the test with a mightily impressive race simulation of 20 laps, 16 of which where in the 2:01s, most of them fast 2:01s. Lorenzo's race simulation follows the pattern from his championship-winning season in 2012, making a very long race simulation to test the bike and himself in punishing conditions. Less characteristic was a mistake the Spaniard made, putting in one lap of 2:05 towards the end, an anomaly among the scorching laps that surround it.
Jorge Lorenzo has topped the second day of testing at Sepang during the MotoGP class' second visit to the circuit, the factory Yamaha man finding the three tenths of a second he was seeking on day 1 of the test. Lorenzo was quick right out of the gate, setting a blistering mid-2:00 lap on his first exit, a time nobody would better except himself before the afternoon break. Even more impressive than his time is his consistency, however: Lorenzo is seemingly able to crank out mid-2:00 laps at will. The Spaniard's performance so far has been eerily similar to the test last year, where he laid the foundation for his 2012 title by grinding out lap after lap at race pace.
With Lorenzo on top of the timesheets, Dani Pedrosa was forced to settle for second, over a third of a second behind his main rival for the title. Pedrosa had spent most of the day working on suspension settings for Honda RC213V, but had been hampered by a problem with one of his bikes. Tomorrow, he told reporters, his team would try to put the best of what they'd found at the test together.
Dani Pedrosa has taken up at the second Sepang MotoGP test where he left off after the first. The Repsol Honda man led for most of the day, having set a fast time fairly early in the morning. His rival at the Factory Yamaha squad did much the same, Jorge Lorenzo taking 2nd a couple of tenths behind Pedrosa.
Marc Marquez continues to impress, the Spanish prodigy ending the day with the 3rd fastest time, just over a third of a second off his Repsol Honda teammate, and a little over a tenth behind reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo. Also impressive was Stefan Bradl, the LCR Honda man achieving his stated aim for the test of matching the pace of Valentino Rossi. The strong times by Marquez and Bradl demoted the Factory Yamaha returnee to 5th, though the difference was minimal, just a few hundredths separating the threesome.
Cal Crutchlow led another close duo, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man some seven tenths off the pace of Pedrosa and a quarter of a second behind Rossi. He just kept ahead of Alvaro Bautista, the Gresini Honda rider taking 7th less than a tenth behind Crutchlow.
With the rain and fog making a return to the Jerez circuit, the final day of testing for the Moto2 class was largely a washout. The weather threatened to improve briefly in the afternoon, but failed to make good on its promise.
At the end of the third, wet day, it was Nico Terol who topped the timesheets, just as he had on the first day of wet practice at the Andalusian track. The Mapfre Aspar rider ended the day nearly three tenths ahead of Scott Redding and Danny Kent, the two British riders separated by just a couple of hundredths. Johan Zarco took 4th spot, a little ahead of Ricky Cardus and Xavier Simeon.
The Moto2 class now has one final group test before the season starts, returning to Jerez in mid-March. They test from 18th to the 21st of March, before flying out to Qatar for the 2013 season opener.
Official times from the final day of testing at Jerez for the Moto2 class:
The return of rain and fog to Jerez meant that much of the final day of testing for both the Moto2 and Moto3 classes went to waste, with a depleted field taking to the track in the morning, before packing up and leaving in the afternoon. Jack Miller was the fastest man in the rain, the Caretta Technology RTG rider ending the day faster than Alex Rins on the Estrella Galicia KTM, and RW Racing's Jakub Kornfeil.
The teams now pack up and head home for a month, preparing for the final test in mid-March. They visit Jerez one more time between 18th and 21st of March, before flying out to Qatar for the season starter.
Official times after the final day of testing at Jerez for the Moto3 class:
Pol Espargaro continues to dominate the Moto2 class this preseason, once again topping the timesheets on the second, much drier day of testing at Jerez. The Tuenti HP 40 rider lapped the track four tenths faster than Stefan Bradl's pole record, the Spaniard clearly showing his intentions for 2013. Takaaki Nakagami took second slot, the Italtrans rider fast at a track he knows well, while Scott Redding find some extra speed to take 3rd spot, a respectable half a second behind Espargaro.
Julian Simon completed the Kalex whitewash of the second day, the Italtrans rider nearly three quarters of a second behind Espargaro. Aspar's Nico Terol was the first non-Kalex, the Spaniard setting the 5th fastest time on the Suter, and the last man to get within a second of Espargaro, ahead of two more Kalexes, those of Espargaro's teammate Tito Rabat, and Redding's Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio.
Though the conditions were far better on Wednesday, the riders lost a lot of time in the morning to fog, the mist causing problems until well after noon. With rain set to return for the final day of testing on Thursday, it remains to be seen how much action will take place, or whether the teams will pack up early and go home.
Times on the second day of testing:
Maverick Viñales took control of the Moto3 class on the second day of the test at Jerez, lapping under the 125cc record on a day which saw much better weather than the rained out first day. Viñales did not have it easy: fellow Spaniard Alex Rins got within six thousandths of the time of Viñales, setting the 2nd best time on Wednesday. Luis Salom completed a Spanish and KTM clean sweep, the Red Bull KTM man three tenths behind Viñales.
The three Spaniards were clearly faster than the rest, Jonas Folger the best of the chasing group, getting within a second of the JHK T-Shirt LaGlisse rider on his Mapfre Aspar Kalex KTM. The Mahindras continued to perform well, Miguel Oliveira setting the 5th best time, ahead of a surprisingly strong Juan Guevara, the Technomag CIP rookie grabbing 6th spot on the TSR Honda.
The weather cooperated in the afternoon at least. The sun finally burned off the last remnants of fog in the bottom section of the track some time after noon, allowing everyone to set a competitive time. The rain looks set to return on Thursday, threatening to bring the three-day test to a premature end.
Times from day 2:
Moving south did little to help with the weather for the Moto2 class. After three days of sunny weather at Valencia, the trek down to Spain's south coast was met with a solid day of wind and rain, with times suffering accordingly.
Mapfre Aspar rider Nico Terol did not suffer, however. The Spaniard had topped the first day of testing at Valencia, and was top of the timesheets in Jerez as well, putting his Suter ahead of Simone Corsi on the NGM Forward Speed Up machine. Julian Simon was also strong in thewet, taking 3rd spot, though nearly two thirds of a second off the pace of Terol, and just ahead of championship favorite Pol Espargaro. Espargaro has suffered in the wet in recent races, but made good progress at Jerez. The Kalex, which last year was dominant in the dry but difficult in the wet, also showed signs of progress, with Simon, Espargaro and Marc VDS Racing's Scott Redding all in the top 5, and all riding Kalexes.
Testing continues tomorrow, with the weather set to improve for the test on Wednesday. However, with the rain likely to return on Thursday, it remains to be seen who will stay on after that, if the track is not dry.
At a wet, windy and miserable Jerez, the Moto3 riders had their second opportunity to prepare for the 2013 season. On Tuesday, their time on the track was most spent on working a wet set up, rather than pushing the development of their Moto3 machines.
The conditions saw a reversal of the dry weather tests at Valencia last week, in many different respects. At Valencia, Spanish riders on KTMs had dominated; in the wet at Jerez, English-speaking riders on Honda-powered bikes took charge. Top of the pile was Ambrogio Racing's Danny Webb, who led from the start, and then put on a late charge in the afternoon on his Suter Honda, heading up his teammate, the South African Brad Binder. Australian Jack Miller took 3rd spot, riding an FTR Honda for Caretta Technology RTG. Zulfahmi Khairuddin was the first non-English speaker, and first KTM, the AirAsia rider finishing ahead of Luis Salom, Jonas Folger and Maverick Viñales, the three men who had led for much of the Valencia test.
In difficult conditions, several riders crashed, chief among them the rookies. Livio Loi, Florian Alt, Francesco Bagnaia, Philipp Oettl and Matteo Ferrari all took a trip to the gravel trap, though there are no reports of serious injury.
Testing continues tomorrow and Thursday, with hope that the conditions will improve before the teams pack up on Thursday evening.
Pol Espargaro has stamped his authority on the Moto2 class at Valencia, leading the overall standings after all three days. Espargaro is two tenths quicker than Mapfre Aspar's Nico Terol, and four tenths faster than Julian Simon. The Moto2 class, like the Moto3 class, sees a trio of Spaniard leading, but the question is whether this will still be the case at the next test at Jerez. Terol has always excelled at Valencia, his home track, and he may not find it as easy at Jerez.
With fewer rookies in the class, the riders did not make the kind of progress which the Moto3 boys and girl did. Standout rider on the list of improved times is Johann Zarco, the Frenchman taking two-and-three-quarters of a second off his best time from Tuesday, and moving well up the order to get into the top 10. Sandro Cortese was the most improved of the rookies, taking nearly two seconds off his best time, with Tech 3's Danny Kent improving by over 1.8 seconds. Louis Rossi's progress was stymied by a crash he had on Friday morning, leaving the Frenchman unable to post a faster time.
Below are the overall standings after all three days of testing, as well as a list showing the improvement made by each of the riders:
Maverick Viñales has dominated all three days of testing for the Moto3 class at Valencia, at the head of a trio of Spaniards consisting of himself, Alex Rins and Luis Salom. These three head to the Jerez test next week as the hot favorites for the Moto3 championship, though there is still a lot of testing to be done.
The list of times showing the improvements made by all of the riders over the course of the three-day test shows that much progress has been made, both by the teams and especially by the rookies coming into the class. Notable among the riders who have improved the most is John McPhee, the young Scotsman taking over four seconds off his time from the first day, and improving by two seconds every day. The rookies are also making good progress: Livio Loi is the fastest of the lot, and also made a big step forward, nearly three-and-a-half seconds quicker from the first day to the last. Ana Carrasco made steady improvement, but promises to be genuinely competitive. While Italian riders Francesco Bagnaia, Lorenzo Baldassarri and Matteo Ferrari also made positive progress.
Below are the overall times for the three days of the test, and a comparison list, showing the amount each rider has improved by.
Pol Espargaro has topped the final day of testing for the Moto2 class at Valencia, taking advantage of a day of excellent weather to destroy his existing pole record by over half a second. The Tuenti HP 40 rider ended two tenths ahead of Nico Terol, the local man who always has something extra at Valencia, while Julian Simon took 3rd, some four tenths of a second behind Espargaro. Jordi Torres, Mapfre Aspar teammate to Terol, set an excellent 4th fastest time, while Thomas Luthi was 5th fastest.
Luthi's day ended unhappily, despite his good lap time. The Interwetten Paddock rider collided with Ratthapark Wilairot during the afternoon session, both men falling heavily and being taken to hospital in Valencia for further check ups. Wilairot was being treated for pain in the head, but Luthi suffered a broken arm and collarbone. Luthi is being flow to Bern in Switzerland tonight, to have surgery on the arm. The injury would be very bad news for the Interwetten Paddock team, as the worst case scenario would leave Luthi out with injury for several months.
Maverick Viñales has topped the Moto3 timesheets for the third day in a row, the Spaniard taking two seconds off the Moto3 lap record, and getting very close to the lap records posted by the 125cc bikes which Moto3 replaces. Viñales once again leads a Spanish trio, with Alex Rins impressing again in 2nd and Luis Salom just a third of a second behind Viñales.
The Caretta Technology RTG team were also impressive, with John McPhee setting the 4th fastest time, and teammate Jack Miller blasting to 6th, ahead of Romano Fenati. The three FTR Hondas made inroads into the dominance which the KTMs had displayed on the first few days. Miller was the last rider to get within a second of Viñales, however.
Elsewhere, the Mahindra project - a Suter-designed and built engine, with help from Mahindra's Indian engineers, in a modified version of the Suter chassis built for the Honda - put on a strong showing, grabbing 9th and 10th places on their first foray to the circuit. Livio Loi was the fastest of the rookies, the young Belgian securing 14th spot, under a second and a half from the leaders, while Ana Carrasco also had a very good day, ending just over 1.6 seconds behind her JHK T-Shirt LaGlisse teammate Viñales.
The teams now pack up and head down to Jerez, where testing will resume again next week.
Pol Espargaro has taken charge of the second day of testing for the Moto2 class at Valencia, the Tuenti HP 40 riders upping the pace and closing in on the pole record. Local boy Nico Terol was demoted to 2nd, two tenths off the pace of the Espargaro, and spent time on Wednesday testing the 2013 version of the Suter chassis, which he pronounced an improvement. Thomas Luthi secured 3rd spot, though only just, with both Julian Simon and Johan Zarco posting very strong challenges. Zarco, in particular, had a very strong second day of testing, improving his time from Tuesday by over two seconds. Scott Redding, 4th fastest on the Marc VDS Racing Kalex on Tuesday, could not make the same kind of step forward, and dropped down the order.
Danny Kent won the battle of the rookies, the Tech 3 rider getting the better of 2012 Moto3 champion Sandro Cortese by over half a second. Cortese once again found himself wrapped up in a battle with Kent's teammate Louis Rossi, the Frenchman five thousandths slower than Cortese, ceding an extra one thousandth of a second to the German on Wednesday.