Intense winds, with gusts of over 70 km/h made riding impossible yesterday, on the first of the two-day test at Jerez for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes. The teams sat in the garages, hoping for better weather which never came. Monday was a different kettle of fish, the sun returning and the wind dying down to much more tolerable levels, the assembled teams all finding time to put in plenty of laps. Fabio Quartararo, riding a KTM for the Leopard Moto3 team, even managed to rack up a grand total of 99 laps before the track closed.
Present at the test alongside the Leopard Moto2 and Moto3 teams were both Ajo teams, the Red Bull KTM Moto3 team of Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder, and the Moto2 team of reigning world champion Johann Zarco. The Dynavolt Intact, Schedl GP Racing Moto2 teams, and the Drive M7 SIC Moto3 team. It being a private test, no times were recorded, though everyone claimed in their press releases to have put in a strong lap. Though the sun was out, and the wind was less, there were still a few fallers. Johann Zarco and Sandro Cortese fell without injury, Miguel Oliveira slightly injured a finger on his right hand in a fall. Oliveira expects to be fully fit for the official IRTA test which takes place at Jerez from 2nd to 4th March, and back on track next week for a private test.
Jerez will continue to be a busy place, as Moto2 and Moto3 teams come and go. Several teams, including the Marc VDS Estrella Galicia team, will take to the track on 18th and 19th of February, and a week later, on 23rd and 24th, the Leopard Moto2 and Moto3 teams return to Jerez. The entire field then reconvenes for the final time ahead of the start of the season on 2nd March.
Below are the press releases issued by the Ajo and Leopard teams after testing had completed:
Red Bull KTM Ajo round off second preseason test
Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder continue work with their KTM bikes on Monday at the Circuito de Jerez, accumulating track time after rain and wind cancels their Sunday plans.
02/15/2016 - Jerez Circuit, Spain
After a first test last week in Valencia, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team travelled to Jerez for the second stage of their preseason schedule. Although unable to ride on Sunday due to bad weather, Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder did get out on track on Monday to prepare for the 2016 campaign –which begins in just over a month’s time in Qatar.
The first of the two days of testing scheduled at Jerez had to be suspended due to rain and wind, with gusts that reached 70km/h. On Monday the asphalt remained damp and temperatures only reached 5ºC, leading to further waiting. Bendsneyder emerged from the garage at 11am and completed 56 laps, followed by teammate Binder at 12pm (62 laps), as they navigated a still-slippery surface. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders focused on adding kilometres of experience on their bikes, rather than working on their setup, and avoided the crashes that caught out several of their fellow competitors.
The next time Bendsneyder and Binder will be on their KTM bikes will be in a fortnight’s time, at the Official Test at Jerez between March 2nd and 4th.
"It was difficult to go fast early in the day, but we were able to confirm some things that we had seen at the Valencia test. This is very positive, because it allows us to have options to change how we set up the rear shock. We have seen that one way works well when the track conditions are good, but the other is better when there is not as much grip. Today's conditions were not very good, it was very windy and the asphalt was slippery, but the times we set were very good, so I'm very happy with the results."
"Today we started a little late, because it was cold early in the day and the track was a bit wet. Yesterday it rained and today the surface was a little slippery, even though the wind helped to dry the track. In general, this has been a positive test, in which I've set good times and maintained a consistent pace, so I'm happy. We still have room for improvement with the rear, and from now on we will focus on working on this issue. We weren’t able to get a really good hot lap in because the track is not in perfect condition, but for now things are going well and I'm very happy with how the test has gone."
Zarco tests in tricky conditions at Jerez
Reigning Moto2 World Champion continues preparation for the 2016 season, in second test affected by wind and rain.
02/15/2016 - Jerez Circuit, Spain
Johann Zarco and the Ajo Motorsport team made the trip to southern Spain this week, for the second preseason test of 2016. The two-day test initially planned was reduced to a single day on track, owing to heavy rain and strong winds on Sunday. Heavy gusts of up to 70km/h made riding unwise on day one.
The Ajo Motorsport rider took advantage of the improving weather to continue adapting to his 2016 Kalex. Despite conditions that were still far from ideal, due to a cold and slippery track surface, Zarco emerged from the garage at just past midday. A crash on his fourth lap saw him return to the pits, where he stayed until going back out at 3pm and finally completing 53 laps.
Reigning Moto2 World Champion will be hoping for more favourable meteorological conditions on his next visit to Jerez, where the Official Test takes place from March 2nd-4th.
"In the end we only had one day of testing here at Jerez, due to the rain. Today the conditions were not very good and I crashed on my first run. I need to find new references, but it was difficult to ride so slowly –and when you want to go too fast you have the risk of a crash. Luckily the bike was not damaged and the team did a good job repairing it. In the afternoon I was able to do some laps but it was hard to feel good, because the wind was very strong and the references for the track were quite different to normal. It is better that we have this now, because it means we are more prepared for the Spanish Grand Prix and the somewhat special conditions here. We’ll be back here again in a few weeks to continue working at the Official test."
ONE DAY OF TESTING FOR MOTO2
The two riders of the Leopard Racing team could only exploit the second of the two days scheduled. They will return to Jerez next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Miguel Oliveira and Danny Kent engaged in yet more development of the Kalex bikes with which will compete in the Moto2 World Championship, the season now just around the corner. Without rest, the two companions of the Leopard Racing squad left Valencia and headed straight for Jerez de la Frontera.
Once at the circuit, the team saw their program slowed down due to bad weather conditions, which with low temperatures and strong gusts of wind removed the first day of the two days of testing. Crew chiefs and riders therefore decided not to take to the track yesterday, not wishing to risk a crash on this important occasion and save the energy.
A good choice, for today the sun kissed the Andalusian circuit, and, thanks to the absence of wind, allowed the Britain’s Danny Kent to make over 75 laps on board his Kalex. In the early afternoon his teammate, the Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira, lost the front at Turn 9, fortunately reporting only a slight bruise to the ring finger of his right hand, which will heal in time for the next test. Testing continues next week, on Tuesday the 23th and Wednesday the 24th, again here at the Jerez Circuit.
#44 Miguel OLIVEIRA:
"Today, the feeling was quite good, although the conditions were a little difficult and the track was not quite as fast as in previous tests conducted here in November. At the entrance of Turn 9 I closed the front and crashed: Fortunately, I have just a small bruise on my finger, and there were no fractures. In a week I'll be back in the saddle, so there will be no problems for the next test."
#52 Danny Kent:
"What should have been a two day test was cut down to just one day. Even though we only had the one-day it was a successful day because we learned a lot with the bike, as did my crew chief. It was good for me, I’m starting to get used to the Moto2 riding style and I’m changing the way I’m riding. It was a successful day, my crew chief wanted to change a few more things to see which direction to go in if we encounter certain problems. It’s good as if we encounter these problems during the year he knows which direction to take. If we have any problems we should know which direction to go, this is good because in a race weekend you don’t have as long as even in a single test day.”
WEATHER SLOWS DOWN TESTING PLAN FOR MOTO3
The three riders of the Leopard Racing team end the Jerez test, making the most of the second and final day.
A single but important day of testing at the Circuito de Jerez de la Frontera for the Leopard Racing team. Yesterday’s weather reduced the test due to strong gusts of wind that at times had reached 70km / h , thereby preventing all riders present to lap at the Andalusian track, technicians and mechanics took the opportunity to study, measure and better understand the KTM RC 250 GP.
The bikes from Mattighofen were able to put their wheels on the track today, in the second and final day of testing, which welcomed the riders with mild temperatures, fortunately very different from those of the day before. Despite the lack of asphalt grip, Fabio Quartararo, Joan Mir and Andrea Locatelli took advantage of all the time available to them, lapping continuously until 6 pm.
Testing continues next week, on Tuesday the 23rd and Wednesday 24th, again at the Jerez Circuit.
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO:
"It’s been a very busy day, but really positive. In the morning the wind bothered us and the track had no grip, but we ended up being satisfied. We have tried many things; I even completed 99 laps, at the end I also caught a good time. My team did a good job, I want to thank them all. I can go home with a smile and with more confidence for the next test."
#36 Joan MIR:
"I'm pretty happy with how things went in this first event here in Jerez. We made a big step forward compared to the first outing at Montmelo. We must try to improve more on the front and with grip. All day long I kept a good pace and, I did not get the perfect lap, we can look forward having found a good set-up."
#55 Andrea LOCATELLI:
"Too bad that we had only one day instead of two. Yesterday there was too much wind and the track was wet: we preferred not to run. Today, apart from some movement in the rear in the morning, we were able to locate the right direction and, consequently, to improve lap after lap. I am especially pleased because I have been consistent and in the end I made a good lap time."