Results and summary of the Moto3 race in Jerez:
Coming into the weekend of Jerez, we knew several things to be absolute certainties. 1. Jerez is a Yamaha track. 2. Ducati always does terribly at Jerez. And 3. The Hondas will struggle against the might of the Yamaha. After qualifying, a swift dose of reality has flushed those preconceptions out of our systems, showing them up for the fallacies that they are.
After qualifying at Jerez, we have an all Honda front row. Two Yamahas start from the second row, but their performance during both qualifying and free practice was far from convincing. The first Ducati sits on the third row, but during practice, Jorge Lorenzo made the Desmosedici GP17 fly, finishing second in FP3 and fourth in FP4.
Where did this shake up come from? The issue is mainly one of grip. After the rain on Friday, there is very little rubber on the track, and the warmer track temperatures has made Jerez its normal, greasy self. The Yamahas perform well when grip is high, whether that be in warmer or cooler temperatures. Extra grip merely helps the RC213V want to wheelie, something for which it needs little encouragement anyway. Robbed of its winglets, the Ducati needs extra rear grip to get good drive out of corners, and exploit its strongest point.
Discussions are currently underway to review the schedule of the MotoGP event at Qatar. The current time schedule, with all three classes taking place after sundown, creates significant headaches for the class, as was apparent at the opening race of the 2017 season, when rain caused qualifying to be canceled and threatened to postpone the race to Monday.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class in Jerez:
The sunnier predictions for Saturday turned out to be true, although temperature was still a little low when the lightweight class hit the track. Still, the first laps already managed to improve Friday’s pace by two seconds, with the softer option rear tyre making an appearance in the final minutes to challenge those times further.
The last minute saw red sectors flashing everywhere, but it was podium regular Jorge Martin who proved to be yet again a contender by leading the third practice session with a time that was four tenths off the lap record.
Something resembling sun welcomed us back from the lunch break but still not enough to tempt all the riders out on track. With many teams waiting for the surface to dry, that left the top spot to be disputed by Jakub Kornfeil, Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Albert Arenas or Darryn Binder.
Predictably, times started tumbling as the session progressed and the conditions improved, Philipp Oettl and the Leopard Racing duo exchanging first place, Joan Mir the first lasting leader of FP2. While others have challenged his position, he recovered it once more on his final lap.
Show of hands: who was eager for the “real” racing season to start in Europe? Well, judging by the first practice session of the lightweight class, it looked like Jerez didn’t miss us quite as much. Rain started as the light turned green, there but not quite enough of it for rain tyres.
Previews of the Jerez round from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:
NAVARRO CHARGED UP FOR HOME RACE AT JEREZ
The long European leg of the Moto2 World Championship is about to start at ‘Circuito de Jerez’, the venue hosting the fourth Grand Prix of the 2017 season. Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Team) hopes to well impress in front of his home crowd, after the good signs of improvement shown in Texas two weekends ago.
Danny Kent is to test KTM's Moto3 bike at Jerez on Tuesday, and is to race as a wildcard at Le Mans. Aki Ajo, team manager of the Red Bull KTM team, who knows the 23-year-old Englishman well from his previous stints in the Ajo team, has seized the opportunity to use Kent's experience in Moto3 to help develop the bike, which is struggling against the Honda at the moment.