The waiting is over, and the Moto2 bikes are finally out on track at Valencia on equal terms, with equal engines. At last we can start comparing times properly, as everyone is now using the official standard Moto2 engine. Using the spec Honda engine, Kenny Noyes is so far quickest, confirming the form the Antonio Banderas Racing rider has shown at all of the Moto2 tests so far. The American - son of US journalist and Spanish TV commentator Dennis - leads the Gresini squad, with Russian newcomer Vladimir Ivanov surprisingly ahead of the championship favorite, Toni Elias. Yuki Takahashi, who has also been fast throughout Moto2 testing, sits in 4th, the Tech 3 rider currently about eight tenths off Noyes' pace.
Once they got over the tragedy of losing the 250cc two-stroke, motorcycle race fans have turned their gaze to the Moto2 class. So little is known, and so much is up in the air for the class that fans are poring over photos in minute detail trying to work out the crucial differences between the different bikes. Cue the outstanding Italian website GPOne.com, who shot some close up video of six of the bikes due to contest the Moto2 championship next season. The video below gives a brief tour and explanation (albeit in Italian) of the RSV used by the Aspar and Cardion AB teams, the Moriwaki to be used by Gresini, the Holiday Gym team and Interwetten, the Blusens BQR bike, the Kalex Pons machine, Tech 3's Mistral 610 bike designed and built by the team's engineers, and the most popular choice on the grid, the Suter MMX.
The gods have not looked kindly on the advent of the Moto2 class. Nearly every time the new bikes have taken to the track for testing, the elements have intervened, throwing wind, rain and even snow into the paths of the CBR600-engined prototypes. The final day of testing at Barcelona was no different, the day starting wet and the track only drying out some time after 2pm, leaving precious little time for the riders to work further on developing and setting up their brand new Moto2 machines.
Despite the conditions and the lack of track time, the majority of riders still at the circuit did manage to improve their times. Once again, it was Shoya Tomizawa who was fastest, sharing the honor on Friday with Julian Simon and Yuki Takahashi. In the unofficial standings, Jules Cluzel was awarded the 4th fastest time, ahead of Ant West on the MZ.
If the old aphorism that no news is good news holds true, then the news from the first day of testing at Barcelona simply couldn't be better. Rain all morning, followed by grey skies and more drizzle kept almost everyone stuck in the pits. Towards the end of the day, as the conditions improved a little, several riders tested the water, of whom Roberto Rolfo completed the most laps - 35 in total - to get a feel for his Italtrans STR Suter Moto2 bike. His teammate Robertino Pietri - son of the former AMA racer Roberto Pietri - went out with the same objective, but was forced back into the pits after just a couple of laps, after suffering an engine problem with the Supersport-spec CBR600 unit which the Italtrans team are using while waiting for the official spec unit to arrive.