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Tom Lüthi On The Triumph Moto2 Bikes: "You Have To Be So Smooth And So Careful"

Jerez marked the start of a new era for Moto2 as a whole, but it also marked a reset in the career of Tom Lüthi. The Swiss rider moved up to MotoGP with the Marc VDS team for 2018, but suffered through a miserable season vying for the last few places in every race. It was, he told us, the most instructive year of his career.

For 2019, Lüthi returns to Moto2, racing a Kalex for the Dynavolt Intact GP team. On Saturday evening, a group of journalists spoke to Lüthi at length about adapting back to Moto2, and how the class has changed with the advent of the Triumph engines and the introduction of Magneti Marelli electronics. It proved to be an extremely enlightening insight into the differences between the old Honda-powered 600cc Moto2 bikes, and the new, 765cc Triumph-powered triples.

Q: How are you adapting back to Moto2?

TL: It was actually a good day for us. A little bit disappointed, it was a pity it was shortened a little bit by the rain and the conditions. I've got to the point already where I have really had enough of this rain, after Valencia, and now again! It's tiring...

But we could work quite well, it was an interesting day, but still a lot of work to do. I have still quite a lot of focus on the seat position, still not absolutely happy with that. We could improve some steps, but still there is some more to do, for sure. Also in the bike in general we could improve, electronics side, engine brake side, we could make steps forward, but there are still many things to try to understand what's the right thing and what's the wrong thing. It's still a new bike.

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2018 Jerez Moto2 Test Sunday Times: Odendaal Quickest In Damp Conditions

Heavy rain on Saturday night, and intermittent rain during Sunday severely limited track time for the last day of Moto2 testing. Most riders chose not to risk a crash, and packed up and went home early. Of the few who did venture out, Steven Odendaal was quickest, scoring a moral victory for the RW Racing team and the NTS chassis. 

Testing is now finished, and the Moto2 class will reconvene in February.

Times:

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2018 Jerez MotoE Saturday Test Times: Smith Fastest As Times Drop

The weather hit the MotoE riders perhaps even more hard than the Moto2 riders: there are 12 bikes present, and 19 riders, so riders in two-rider teams are having to share bikes. And when some sessions are wet and some dry, making comparisons is hard.

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2018 Jerez Moto2 Test Saturday Times: Marini Quickest As Rain Stops Second Session

Luca Marini finished the second day of testing for the Moto2 class on top of the timesheets, the Sky VR46 rider getting under the existing pole record in the morning session of practice. Sam Lowes, very happy to be back on a Kalex with the Gresini Team, was second, a quarter of a second slower than Marini, while Alex Marquez just pipped Remy Gardner for third. 

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Eugene Laverty To Race A Ducati Panigale V4R With Team GoEleven In 2019

There have been some major shake ups on the WorldSBK grid for 2019, leaving some big-name riders without a ride. Today, one of those big names found a home. The Go Eleven Team announced they had signed Eugene Laverty to race a Ducati Panigale V4R in the WorldSBK championship for the 2019 season.

That Laverty should return to a Ducati is hardly a surprise. The Irishman has maintained close links to the Italian factory, and has always had a good relationship with Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna. Laverty had been linked to other teams considering running Ducatis before finally signing with Go Eleven.

Laverty's arrival means the loss of Ramon Ramos, who has to make way for the Irishman. But the switch from Kawasaki and the promise of support from Ducati, coupled with Laverty's proven potential as a WorldSBK race winner made it an easy choice. 

Laverty's signing sees one big name return to the grid, but others remain without a seat. Xavi Fores found a seat in the British BSB Superbike championship, but Jordi Torres and Loris Baz remain unsigned. More announcements are expected in the coming weeks, as the WorldSBK teams finalize their plans.

Below is the press release from the Go Eleven team:


Go Eleven with Eugene Laverty and Ducati in the World SBK!

With great enthusiasm Go Eleven announces the partnership with Ducati Corse and Eugene Laverty for the 2019 World Superbike Championship!

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