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.
But the times so far don't mean too much, as no one has put in a great many laps yet, and a sizable group of riders are still in the pits waiting to get underway. Some of the teams are suffering the consequences of - unsurprisingly - the economic crisis: One such is Scot Honda, who according to GPOne.com were forced to wait until this morning before receiving their Moto2 engines, as the team still has unpaid back payments for their MotoGP adventure last season. The team, which is to field Alex de Angelis and Niccolo Canepa, has been given a reprieve for this test, but could still be in trouble before the season starts.
With both the 250 and World Supersport classes racing at Valencia, everyone is keeping a close eye on the times and how they stack up against both the class Moto2 replaces and the class it is drawing the most comparison to. Noyes' time is 1.4 seconds off the 1'36.8 that both Cal Crutchlow in World Supersport and Hector Barbera in 250s recorded here last year. A large chunk of that difference should disappear over the next couple of days, but it is unlikely the Moto2 bikes will be matching the 250 times this season.
Results at 1pm, courtesy of GPOne.com:
|4||Yuki Takahashi||Tech 3||1'39.037||0.831|
|14||Mike Di Meglio||RSV||1'40.258||2.052|
|20||Mashel Al Naimi||BQR||1'40.998||2.792|
|22||Raffaele De Rosa||Tech 3||1'41.043||2.837|