Moto2 Valencia Test Day 2 - Aspar Tests The Kalex, Rolfo Strong Again

The Moto2 bikes concluded their second day of testing at Valencia on Thursday, but it will not be their last, as originally planned. A number of teams will be staying on at the Spanish track for one more day of testing, taking advantage of the excellent weather currently favoring Spain's Mediterranean coast.

The Aspar team continued to test the BQR bike, trying out Ohlins suspension on the bike in place of the Showa units Julian Simon tested yesterday. Towards the end of the day, the Aspar team borrowed the Pons team's Kalex machine, with both Simon and teammate Mike di Meglio running a short test to get a feel for the bike. Di Meglio had spent most of the day on a Yamaha World Supersport-spec bike, just to get used to riding a four stroke.

Di Meglio wasn't the only rider out on World Supersport equipment. Ant West continued on the MZ, in reality the rebadged Stiggy Honda CBR600RR the Australian campaigned with limited success in the World Supersport series, while two genuine World Supersport contenders - Kenan Sofuoglu and his brand new teammate Michele Pirro - circulated on the Ten Kate Honda Supersport machines. Both the Ten Kate's were over a second faster than West, Sofuoglu running a 1'36.1 and Pirro a 1'36.4.

Behind West, Roberto Rolfo tested the Suter machine for the Italtrans STR team which will field both Rolfo and the Venezuelan Robertino Pietri, but this, too, bears little resemblance to a final Moto2 bike. The Suter is the machine campaigned in the Spanish CEV Moto2 championship, and has a Yamaha R6 Supersport or near Supersport-spec engine in it. The chassis will have to be marginally different once the Honda standard engine units arrive, though power outputs should be broadly similar.

The times shown below are taken from the Italian website Motosprint, but a trawl through a number of Spanish and Italian sites will throw up a host of differing times. Interpreting Moto2 is currently still at the stage of Kremlinology, deciphering times and trying to put them into some kind of realistic context. That will likely only happen once the standard Honda engine and the standard Dunlop tires arrive in March.

List of very provisional times, courtesy of Motosprint:

Pos Rider Bike Time
1 Ant West MZ 1'37.4
2 Roberto Rolfo Suter 1'37.7
3 Julian Simon BQR 1'37.8
4 Mike di Meglio BQR 1'38.3
5 Axel Pons Kalex 1'38.8
6 Raffaele de Rosa Tech3 1'39.2
7 Sergio Gadea Kalex 1'39.2
8 Alessandro Brannetti WTR 1'39.4

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Comments

I just saw some video from the test and they didnt sound like WSS spec bikes. From the video I couldnt see who was who - were they running the Honda spec engine, different exhaust, frames. suspension etc? or was it just the Stiggy SS bike?

are the Moto 2 bikes expected to be quicker than World SS bikes? If not, why not? Will the spec engines not be at least tuned to SS levels? Certainly Moto 2 chassis would be expected to have an advantage? As well, I would imagine a lower weight overall for the Moto 2 bikes?

Moto2 bikes should be a second or more a lap quicker than World Supersport bikes. However, these bikes are still in a very early stage of development and still have a lot of work to do. In effect, this means that the bikes right now are in a bit of a mess. Kenan Sofuoglu had a go on the Kalex bike and described it as "like a badly set up Supersport". The chassis developers still have a lot of work to do. I would expect the Moto2 bikes to be slower than WSS in 2010, and quicker in 2011. I also expect the Moto2 races to see huge disparities in equipment. You gain more time in the corners than on the straights, and that's exactly where chassis design is so crucial. Some teams will get it right, others will get it wrong, and it will take a couple of years for some kind of equilibrium to be established.

Honda doesn't have the Moto2 engines ready yet so they had to be running some modified streetbike motor. Likely higher spec than WSS since they expect the Moto2 motors to produce 150bhp.