Nicolo Bulega has ended the second day of the Jerez Moto3 test as fastest. The Sky VR46 rider was over a tenth of a second faster than Aron Canet on the Estrella Galicia Honda, though the Spaniard had been quick all day. Jorge Martin was third quickest on Thursday on the Gresini Honda, finishing a fraction ahead of Romano Fenati. The Italian has been solid on his return to racing, and sits well on the Honda.
Nicolo Bulega was the fastest man in the first two sessions for the Moto3 class at Jerez, the Sky VR46 rider almost exactly matching his pole time from last year's race. The times were quicker in the morning, with Aron Canet second, Jorge Martin third and Romano Fenati fourth quickest.
Bulega was fastest in the lunchtime session as well, this time holding off Romano Fenati, Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Aron Canet. That put three Moto3 manufacturers in the top three spots.
Times from the first two sessions on Thursday:
Franco Morbidelli was the quickest man in the morning session for the Moto2 class at Jerez. The Marc VDS rider was a fraction quicker than Miguel Oliveira's best time from Wednesday, and half a second quicker than his teammate Alex Marquez. Fabio Quartararo was up to speed with the third quickest time, just behind Marquez, and just nine thousandths quicker than Luca Marini. Danny Kent was the first Suter in seventh spot, just under seven tenths off the time of Morbidelli
Times in the first session of Thursday:
Aron Canet ended the first day of the Moto3 IRTA test at Jerez at the top of the timesheets, leading a trio of Hondas. Canet set his quickest time in the final session of the day, but was never out of the top three.
Romano Fenati ended the day in second, the Italian making a strong return to racing after being sacked halfway through last year. Jorge Martin set the third fastest time, the last rider to crack into the 1'46s. Bo Bendsneyder was the first KTM rider, the Dutchman just shy of Martin's time, and ending ahead of Juanfran Guevara and Enea Bastianini.
Miguel Oliveira ended the first day of the IRTA test on top of the timesheets, setting a time in the second session of the day which nobody could match. Oliveira's time is nearly a tenth quicker than the Moto2 pole record at Jerez, currently held by Sam Lowes.
As the start of the MotoGP season draws near, this is a big week for motorcycle racing. On Wednesday, the Moto2 and Moto3 teams meet for the first official test of the season at Jerez, lasting until Friday. Early Friday morning, European time, the second round of the WorldSBK championship kicks off at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand. Then on Friday afternoon, the MotoGP teams start the final test of preseason at the Losail circuit in Qatar.
But the first place to see action is Jerez. After several private tests scattered around Spanish tracks, it is the first chance to see the entire Moto2 and Moto3 grid on track together. Or most of the grid: injury leaves at least one rider sidelined, Stefano Manzi being out with a knee injury. The three-day test is split into sessions, with the Moto2 and Moto3 classes each going out separately.
The last in our series of blogs explaining the mysteries of MotoGP electronic rider aids
OK, enough with the sniggers. This isn’t a clever computer program that helps exasperated MotoGP engineers deal with petulant, prima-donna riders, it’s an important rider aid that’s become even more so since the advent of unified software.
Anti-jerk helps riders get through the transition from off-throttle to on-throttle in the middle of a corner. As they enter the corner they have the throttle fully closed, then when the right moment comes they start to ease the throttle open. At this point the engine goes through a transition from negative torque to positive torque, which causes tolerances in the transmission to deliver a jerk (or hit) in the engine. With so much lean angle and so much torque available, this can disastrous, either ruining the rider’s drive off the turn or triggering a slide from which he or she won’t recover.
The Repsol Honda team did not have a great deal of luck during their private test at Jerez. The test, scheduled for two days, was meant to help Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa make a final decision on which engine to use in their Honda RC213V for the rest of the season.
With engines due to be sealed at Qatar, the Jerez test was crucial. The tight nature of the Andalusian circuit brings out the worst in the characteristics of the Honda engine, so testing there would provide the best data on whether the new engine was an improvement or not.
Press releases from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the test at Jerez:
Baldassarri and Marini complete successful second test in 2017
Following a first prosperous shakedown in Valencia the Forward Racing Team continued its testing program ahead of the 2017 Moto2 World Championship season with a two-day private test at Circuito de Jerez. Bright sunshine provided perfect circumstances on Wednesday, while both riders were forced to stay inside the pit box on day two due to mixed weather conditions.
The Moto2 and Moto3 teams were back to work over the past two days, a large contingent gathered to prepare for the 2017 season. Fine weather greeted the riders on the first day of the test, but the second day, Thursday, started with the track covered with sand after strong winds blew sand across from North Africa, then rain hit the track and washed out the rest of the test. A few riders went out on Thursday, but they were nearly 20 seconds off the pace.