A few Moto2 and Moto3 riders stayed on for a final day of testing at Jerez on Friday, using the clear skies and good weather to put in a few more laps ahead of the 2016 season. Sam Lowes topped the timesheets on the final day of testing, though his advantage over Taka Nakagami was just a few hundredths of a second. Danny Kent made major steps forward on his second day on the Kalex Moto2 bike, getting within a quarter of his fellow countryman Lowes, and ahead of Moto2 veteran Luis Salom. Moto2 rookie Miguel Oliveira was over a second slower than his teammate, but still made good progress in his adaptation.
Lowes' time was impressive, but he still could not match the time set by Alex Rins on Thursday, Lowes coming up just under a tenth of a second short.
Times at the end of Friday from Jerez:
Thursday times from the Moto2 and Moto3 test at Jerez. More bikes are present, but not all are running with transponders.
|2||JESKO RAFFIN||SWISS||STOP AND GO RACING TEAM||KALEX|
|3||SIMONE CORSI||ITALIAN||SPEED UP||SPEED UP|
|5||JOHANN ZARCO||FRENCH||AJO MOTORSPORT||KALEX|
|7||LORENZO BALDASSARI||ITALIAN||FORWARD TEAM||KALEX|
|10||LUCA MARINI||ITALIAN||FORWARD TEAM||KALEX|
|11||SANDRO CORTESE||GERMAN||DYNAVOLT INTACT GP||KALEX|
|12||THOMAS LUTHI||SWISS||DERENDINGER INTERWETTEN||KALEX|
They say that truth is stranger than fiction. The more pressing question is how to distinguish between the two. Narratives are easily created – it is my stock in trade, and the trade which every sports writer plies – but where does stringing together a collection of related facts move from being a factual reconstruction into the realms of invented fantasy? When different individuals view the same facts and draw radically opposite conclusions, are we to believe that one is delusional and the other is sane and objective? Most of all, how much value should we attach to the opinions of each side? Do we change our opinion of the facts based on our sympathy or antipathy for the messenger?
That is the confusion which the final round of MotoGP has thrust the world of Grand Prix racing into. What should have been a celebration of the greatest season of racing in the premier class in recent years, and possibly ever, was rendered farcical, as two competing interpretations of a single set of facts clashed, exploded, then dragged the series down into the abyss. Bitterness, anger, suspicion, fear, all of these overshadowed some astonishing performances, by both winners and losers. Looked at impartially, the Valencia round of MotoGP was a great day of fantastic racing. But who now can look at it impartially?
Press releases from the teams in the Moto2 and Moto3 classes:
The Moto2 race was red-flagged after a mid-pack pileup on turn two of lap one and would be restarted as an eighteen lap race.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying:
Qualifying temperatures for Moto2 were slightly down on those for the MotoGP session.
Thomas Luthi was quickest again as the top ten riders all improved on their times from yesterday but Tito Rabat and Alex Rins were all within a tenth of second of his fastest time with Sam Lowes not too far behind them. Jonas Folger and Axel Pons were within half a second, in spite of Pons having a crash mid-session that inexplicably caused the crashes of two other riders who succesfully avoided his stricken bike on track.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Valencia:
Thomas Luthi ended the day over a quarter of a second quicker than anyone else, ahead of Tito Rabat and Sam Lowes. Jonas Folger was the only other rider within half a second of Luthi's time ahead of Julian Simon on the second-quickest Speed Up bike.
The battle for the title is settled in Johann Zarco's favour, but second place is still up for grabs between Alex Rins and Tito Rabat. Sam Lowes is fending off challenders for fourth place in the title and started his final race weekend this year with a time two tenths quicker than Thomas Luthi and Alex Rins.