The 2012 preseason is over for Moto2 and Moto3, as the support classes pack up their things after three days of testing at Jerez and get ready to ship out to Qatar. The teams leave the final test of the season with a much better idea of where they stand, as the playing field had been leveled in Moto2 by the use of the official Geo Tech engines, and in Moto3 by the arrival of the Geo Tech kits for the Honda engine, giving the NSF250R a much needed power boost with respect to the KTMs.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the final day of testing at Jerez:
Smith and Simeon conclude pre-season preparations in Jerez
Maverick Viñales has confirmed his status as preseason favorite for the inaugural Moto3 crown by ending the three-day Moto3 test at Jerez with a comfortable lead and right on record pace. The Avintia rider fell just nine thousandths of Marc Marquez' 125cc record, putting the Moto3 bikes roughly in line with the pace of the two-stroke 125s that they replace.
Claudio Corti has ended the final three-day Moto2 test of the 2012 preseason on top of the pile, setting the fastest time on Wednesday, and just edging ahead of Thomas Luthi. Pol Espargaro was 3rd fastest, under two tenths slower than Luthi, and about the same ahead of Marc VDS Racing's Mika Kallio, while Marc Marquez ended the test in 5th.
While the Aspar team was making its presentation in Valencia, the Forward Racing Team took advantage of the heavy press presence at Jerez for the Moto2 IRTA test to launch its 2012 challenge in Moto2 and Moto3, in the spectacular setting of the VIP "saucer" which hangs above the circuit. The presentation got underway very late, as bad weather delayed Edwards' departure from the US, the Texan rushing straight from the airport to the track for the launch.
With the final IRTA test just a couple of days away, teams are seizing the opportunity to stage their team launches for the 2012 season. On Tuesday night it was the turn of the Power Electronics Aspar team to present their bike and riders to the press, not at Jerez, where a large portion of the world's motorcycling press is already assembled, but in Valencia, home to Aspar owner Jorge Martinez and the heart of his power base.
Thomas Luthi continues to lead the Moto2 class at the IRTA test at Jerez, the Interwetten Paddock rider taking half a second off his best time from Monday to secure his spot at the top of the timesheets. Italtrans rider Claudio Corti leads Luthi's challengers, heading up a group of four riders separated by just over a tenth of a second. Marc Marquez once again confirmed his fitness, creeping up the timesheets into 3rd behind Corti and closing the gap to Luthi. Marc VDS Racing's Scott Redding set the 4th fastest time, just edging ahead of Pol Espargaro on the Pons HP Tuenti machine.
Maverick Viñales topped the timesheets on the second day of testing at Jerez, keeping the Red Bull Ajo bikes of Sandro Cortese and Danny Kent firmly behind him. Yesterday's fastest man Romano Fenati ended day two in 4th, ahead of a surprising Alexis Masbou and an impressive Niccolo Antonelli.
In contrast to the Moto2 riders, the Moto3 times barely improved on the second day, Viñales taking just a few hundredths off Fenati's fastest time from Monday. Testing concludes on Wednesday, before the bikes are packed into crates and flown to Qatar for the season opener on April 8th.
After yesterday's successful launch of the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 on sponsor TIM's Facebook page, Ducati have put the video of the launch up on their Youtube page for everyone who missed it the first time round. As the original was almost entirely in Italian - with the obvious exception of Nicky Hayden, who understands more Italian than he lets on, but is cautious about speaking it - Ducati have thoughtfully voiced the original over in English.
Here's the video, courtesy of Ducati Motor Holding:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of testing at Jerez:
Márquez rejoins rivals at Jerez
Repsol rider takes part in opening day of Jerez test, recovering pace and confidence
Marc Márquez today took part in day one of the Official Test at Jerez - the last run out of the 2012 preseason. Last year’s runner-up in the Moto2 class was sharing track time with rivals from the category for the first time this year, but looked very comfortable on his Suter bike and clocked the fifth best time of the day: 1'43.080.
After completing successful tests at Alcarras and Albacete over the past couple of weeks, to evaluate the recovery of his eye problem, Marc Marquez has finally returned to action with the assembled Moto2 riders at Jerez, where the final IRTA test before the start of the season at Qatar on April 8th. The initial conclusion of the first day of the three-day test is positive: sharing the track with both the Moto3 field and his Moto2 competitors, Marquez seems to be completely healed, despite spending the day getting accustomed to riding at Moto2 World Championship pace again.
The Hondas have started catching the KTMs at the final Moto3 test of the season, with Romano Fenati and Maverick Viñales using the extra power from the Geo Tech Honda kits to put their FTR Hondas head of the KTM hordes. Where previously the Austrian bikes have dominated, at Jerez, Danny Kent could only get within seven tenths of Fenati, and over a third of a second slower than Viñales. Kent - the fastest of the KTMs at previous races - beat Sandro Cortese and Zulfahmi Khairuddin to take third spot.
Testing contiues for two more days on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thomas Luthi was the fastest Moto2 rider on the first day of the final test ahead of the season opener at Qatar. The Interwetten rider was fast all day long, with few riders capable of matching his pace. Italtrans' Takaaki Nakagami ended in 2nd, the Japanese rider continuing to impress throughout testing, and finishing ahead of his teammate Claudio Corti, while Pons HP Tuenti's Pol Espargaro ended just a hundredth of a second slower than Corti.
A press release preview of the IRTA Moto2 test that starts on Monday:
REDDING AND KALLIO READY TO ROLL IN JEREZ
Gosselies, Belgium - 17 March 2012 - The Jerez circuit plays host to the final Moto2 preseason test next week, with the Marc VDS Racing Team's Scott Redding and Mika Kallio both heading to Spain with their sights set firmly on finishing on top of the timesheet.