2019 Jerez Moto2/Moto3 Test Day 1 Press Releases

Press releases from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of the Jerez test:

First test of 2019 for Brad Binder and Jorge Martin

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders had a solid start in the first day of the Jerez Official Test.

2/20/2019 - Jerez Circuit - Angel Nieto

After two favourable days of private testing at Jerez, today the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders took part in the first three IRTA practices. The time on track on Monday and Tuesday was helpful to warm up for the three days of timed action at the Andalusian track. Brad Binder and Jorge Martin finished fourth and eleventh, respectively, on the combined timesheets.

Amidst favourable weather conditions, Brad Binder showed great pace on Wednesday, and was a constant presence at the sharp end of the timing screens throughout the three sessions today. The South African focused on the setup of the bike, working on improving grip and electronic settings. After a total of 64 laps, he clocked the fourth best time on Wednesday: 1:41.368, almost a second and a half quicker than his top lap from November.

On the other side of the box, Jorge Martin used the day to continue adapting to the intermediate class and gaining confidence with the new KTM Moto2 bike. The Spaniard enjoyed a positive day, completing a total of 65 laps and setting a best time of 1:41.867, which placed him eleventh overall.

Tomorrow sees a second day of action at the Jerez Official Test, which will conclude on Friday.

Aki Ajo - Team manager

"Today was a very important day because we started the first Official Test of 2019. In general the week has been very important for us. We have had two days of private testing, so for us it has been somewhat easier to start the Official Test. In the November test, things didn't go as we had expected, but I have to say that after these three days we are already on the right track. Both Brad [Binder] and Jorge [Martin] have done a great job and -despite us not focusing on this aspect- the lap times have also been good."


"Today has been pretty positive. This was our third consecutive day in Jerez, so we have been able to complete many laps and have tried many options. We have found a good path to follow and I am very happy with how the team worked today. Things are going very well and my feeling on the bike improves every time I go out on track. In general, the more laps I do, the better I feel on my KTM. Tomorrow we will focus on doing some longer runs at some point. I'm looking forward to the next two days; there are still many points to work on and try out, but step by step we are finding a good way forward."


"It’s been a very positive day, even though I'm not at my best physically. We’re very happy, because every time we go out on track we improve a little more. Today we were able to try many new ideas and we have drawn very positive conclusions from all of them. In addition, we set a good pace with used tyres. Although we still have to work a lot on that aspect, we have shown that we are competitive over a single lap. Tomorrow the objective will be to continue improving and gaining experience. We have to keep working in the same direction, because it’s the right way to go.”

Alex Márquez finishes with a very good feeling and the 5th best time on the first day of testing in Jerez

Set-up adjustments and work with tyres and geometry were the focus of a testing session from which both Team Estrella Galicia 0, 0 Marc VDS riders were left feeling satisfied. Xavi Vierge finished thirteenth and Márquez was constantly among the riders with the best pace.

The good weather allowed Márquez and Vierge the chance to exploit to the maximum the first day of the official tests staged at the Circuit of Jerez-Ángel Nieto. The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders have been able to fulfil their respective work plans in a testing session in which is the first that the entire Moto2 grid has been assembled together to be measured against each other.

Working on his position on the bike and adjusting geometry settings have been top of the agenda for Alex Márquez, who closed the day with 54 laps completed. With a preferred set-up fixed in the last private tests, the number 73 began the day checking the state of the track and working on his position on the bike. That allowed him to focus on working on new front and rear tyres that Dunlop has brought for this test in the second and third sessions. Alex finished the first day with a good feeling and impressively he was among the riders with the best pace.

Xavi Vierge opted to start the day working with used rubber, with the clear objective to fine-tune the set-up of his Kalex chassis that included modifications to what he tested last week in Jerez. This enabled him to confirm the changes with new tyres in the later sessions. Suspension modifications and his position on the bike were other aspects on which the number 97 and his team focused on during a productive first day. The Spaniard completed 53 laps and set the thirteenth best time on the combined standings, which didn’t reflect the good sensations with which the Catalan rider finished the day with.

Alex Márquez

5th, 1'41.370, 54 laps, 239 km.

"We made steps this afternoon and my rhythm is so good"

“The first day has been really, really positive and very good. We came here with some information from the last test and already in the first laps I felt very good with the bike and we made some steps with the set-up. We’ve tried some new things to help me adapt better to the bike and to understand how things are going. We made steps this afternoon and my rhythm is so good and we need to keep working in this way. For one fast lap, I need to attack a little bit more, but for sure tomorrow everybody will improve the lap time and I’m sure I can do the same. The track condition is really good and tomorrow I will try and improve my lines in some corners where I can still adapt a little bit better. We can also work on some small things to improve the set-up but we are working in a correct and good way and I want to thank my team for that.”

Xavi Vierge

13th, 1'41.925, 53 laps, 234 km.

"I finish the day very happy about the work we completed"

“I’m very happy with today because I started with a good feeling after the last here. We started to make some changes to the set-up of the bike which didn’t seem to suit me and that made the day a little bit more difficult. But on the final exit we found again a good setting on the bike and I could recover my positive feeling again and finish the day very happy about the work we completed. Now I’m looking forward to analysing the data from today to try and improve a little bit more again tomorrow. The plan for tomorrow is to improve my race pace and if we can do that I’ll be happy. I can also improve my one lap pace also but the most important thing is to find two or three tenths more on the consistency for the race pace.”

Bendsneyder finishes first day in Jerez in top 15

Bo Bendsneyder finished the first day of the official IRTA test in Jerez with a neat fifteenth place. The 1.42.191 of the Dutchman was good for seventeenth in the overall rankings of the first day. His South African team-mate Steven Odendaal was 25th time overall with 1.42.894.

RW Racing GP continued in Jerez de la Frontera where it had stopped in a private test in Valencia two weeks ago. The Moto2 riders came on track three times this Wednesday. In the first session no times were clocked by Bendsneyder and Odendaal due to a problem with the transponders. That was solved for the second session, at the beginning of the afternoon.

What made the test difficult was that the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto has recently been resurfaced. The new asphalt shortened the life of the soft Dunlop tire, on which the fastest times could be set, to five or six laps.

"We had to be careful with the tires and pay attention to how the track behaved and changed per session of one and a half hour", said RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen. "Despite that, we have worked well. I am satisfied with the progress that both Bo and Steven have made on this first day. It is good to see that we are indeed around fifteenth place, as we had hoped. Bo was even in the top 10 in the last session for a long time. That gives confidence."

Bo Bendsneyder: "The NTS feels good. I have set my fastest time on the soft tire. When I wanted to do another time attack at the end of the session, also on the soft tire, I had a small crash in the final corner. That is a shame, because that meant the last run was lost. It would had been a good lap time."

Steven Odendaal: "I still suffer from my foot injury, but it went much better than in Valencia. I am not yet at my usual level, but I have been able to do many laps and try many things. It is mainly a matter of getting back into the rhythm."


Jake Dixon slashes two seconds off his best lap from the November test at Jerez to finish 18th fastest, with Xavi Cardelús a second behind

Almost three months have passed since the last official Moto2 test but the same name appeared at the top of the timesheets at the Jerez – Ángel Nieto circuit today, with Luca Marini breaking the 1’42 barrier on four occasions before stopping the clock with a best lap of 1’41.146. Only Iker Lecuona was able to get close to the Italian, the Spaniard finishing second fastest by just 0.081 seconds after clocking the fastest lap of the final session. A new era for the Moto2 class, which will this year be powered by Triumph engines, saw three different manufacturers represented in the top six positions. Five more days of testing remain – two here in Jerez and three in Qatar – before the start of the season proper.

The Ángel Nieto Team went into the first official test sessions of 2019 on the back of two prior days of private tests with KTM. British rider Jake Dixon completed 32 laps of Jerez today, with a best effort of 1’42.307 leaving him 1.1 seconds off top spot. Dixon has slashed almost two seconds off his best lap at this track back in November, but feels there is still more to come after his progress was slowed today by a crash after just four laps. Twelfth fastest this morning and fourteenth at lunch, Dixon ended the day in eighteenth position overall. Xavi Cardelús made a bright start to the day and was nineteenth fastest, 1.6 seconds off the top, this morning. After spending the afternoon working on some different front suspension solutions to solve some instability under braking, he was unable to find any further improvements to his lap time.

18th Jake Dixon 1:42.307 (32 laps): “We made a bit of a step from yesterday to today. We still need to improve in a few areas but the bike was feeling really good in the last session, apart from I felt like the gearing was a little bit too long. Unfortunately, I also crashed in turn 11, which obviously wasn’t ideal, but we have improved the chassis a lot and I think that if we can revert back to the same gearing we had previously, and we keep working away, we will be in good shape tomorrow."

31st Xavi Cardelús 1:43.585 (52 laps): “We started the day really well because straight away I was able to lap in the same times I was setting yesterday afternoon. Then we tried some modifications to the forks, because the bike was getting unstable on the brakes into corner entry, but the changes didn’t help and then we struggled to pick up where we left off. It is a bittersweet feeling at the end of the day because I thought I would improve this afternoon and set a better lap time than yesterday but we still have two more days to keep pushing.”

Tough opening for Bezzecchi and Öttl to first official test in 2019

Following two intense days of private testing at the beginning of this week, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo was back at the Circuito de Jerez today alongside the entire Moto2 World Championship field.

While Marco Bezzecchi was focusing on his riding style during the day, especially on picking up the bike, the Italian Moto2 class rookie kept the base he and his experienced crew acquired on Monday and Tuesday and tried some different types of tyres. Likewise, Philipp Öttl tested various tyre options, learned more about the electronics and how to use the rear brake of his brand-new KTM machine.

Marco Bezzecchi

Position: 27th – Time: 1:43.133 – Laps: 45

“We did a lot of work today. We tried many things and all of them where quite positive. Although we had some issues, but this is part of the game. Now we collected many information and still need to adjust all of them. I was on a good lap towards the end, but I crashed, unfortunately. Anyway, I’ll check the data now in order to see how this could happen and obviously to not repeat it. Tomorrow, we’ll continue our work and see where we can be at the end of the day.”

Philipp Öttl

Position: 28th – Time: 1:43.180 – Laps: 61

“This morning we started quite well, but we were struggling during lunch time. We found the reasons for this and during our last session today we were experimenting with the rear brake, which was pretty good on the second exit. We collected more and more information and learn a lot about the bike. After the two days of test before, we conclude this first IRTA test day in a positive way with a lot of info for me and my crew. Everything is new for all of us, so now we have to put many things together and try to improve again tomorrow. Above all, I have a lot of fun working with my guys and I can’t wait to be back tomorrow.”

Pawi begins first official test of 2019 at Jerez

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider completes 50 laps with his new Kalex on day one at Jerez – Angel Nieto Circuit.

After completing a private test at the Sepang International Circuit last week, Khairul Idham Pawi was back in action today for the first day of three at the Jerez-Angel Nieto Circuit. On a day split into three track sessions of an hour and ten minutes each, the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider and his crew got back to work on his new Kalex machine, with this being the penultimate test of the preseason before the championship starts for real at the GP of Qatar.

As the Moto2 riders rotated track sessions with their Moto3 counterparts, the Malaysian clocked up a total of 50 laps, with a best effort of 1’43.434 coming in the second session – leaving him in 30th position overall with a 2.2 second gap to the fastest lap of the day. Khairul Idham Pawi and his team spent this first day at Jerez working on the bike setting and his riding style.

Work continues at the first official test of 2019 for the intermediate category tomorrow, with three more sessions scheduled at the Jerez-Angel Nieto Circuit. The Moto2 bikes are due on track at 11:20am local time.

#89 Khairul Idham Pawi

"Today hasn’t been an easy day here at Jerez but it is only the first day and we have room and time to improve tomorrow and the day after. We have spent a lot of time today working on the set-up of the bike and my riding style. Tomorrow we will continue to try different things and change the gearing of the bike. We are working very hard and hopefully we can take a big step forward tomorrow."

Rookie Sergio Garcia Dols second fastest on first day of Official Test at Jerez

The Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 rider makes fast progress and tops the timesheets, while teammate Alonso Lopez is also among quickest riders on day one.

Just days after the launch of the 2019 Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 project on Monday in Madrid, riders Alonso Lopez and Sergio García Dols were on track at the Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto on Wednesday for the Official Test, sharing a paddock with riders from the Moto3 and Moto2 classes. The Andalusian circuit provided favourable weather conditions for the 29 Moto3 participants, with clear skies, temperatures of around 18ºC and southeasterly winds of 10 km/h.

Alonso Lopez began the test looking to find a steady pace, instead of pursuing a fast lap. The Spaniard did, however, manage to lower his time to place among the four fastest riders in the second session. He repeated this in the third runout of the day; his top time of 1:46.701 placing him ninth on the combined timesheets.

Sergio Garcia Dols led the way right from the first outing for the Moto3 field. His best time of his initial 26 laps -a 1:46.574- was more than a second quicker than his top time from the private test at the track earlier this month. In the second Moto3 session, Garcia Dols clocked a 1:46.198 lap, less than two tenths off the circuit record, whilst in the final runout he was fourth fastest. His time from the second session gave him second place overall, just 0.045s off the top spot.

Alonso López

9th, 1:46.701, + 0.503, 67 laps, 296 km

“It is important to have a steady fast pace”

“The conclusions from this first day are positive because we are setting up a bike that is better adapted to my riding style at all times. This good result has not come about by chance, since I'm not even riding at one hundred percent yet, so I think I’m in a very favourable position to continue improving over the coming days. It is important to have a steady fast pace without neglecting my lines. With that, everything works much better.”

Sergio García

2nd, 1:46.198, +0.045, 69 laps, 305 km

“The track conditions have been especially favourable"

“Today we focused more on the riding side, in order to continue learning. We already found a base setup during the private test we had here earlier this month, so from there everything went very well. I tried different tires and the feeling with all of them was very positive. The track conditions have been especially favourable, which allowed us to ride very fast. Tomorrow we will try out some things with the bike without neglecting our pace.”


Junior Moto3 World Champion laps tenth fastest on opening day of official preseason test, with Albert Arenas in fifteenth

The new breed of riders entering the Moto3 World Championship in 2019 are already making their mark, with three rookies already inside the top ten on the opening day of official preseason testing at Jerez. The fastest of them was Sergio García, who will make the step up from the Junior Moto3 World Championship but not until after the opening round in Qatar, when he will still be too young to compete. García clocked a 1’46.198 to finish just 0.045 seconds off the best lap of the day, set by Tony Arbolino, with Gabriel Rodrigo, Lorenzo dalla Porta and Jaume Masiá completing the top five.

As for the Ángel Nieto Team riders, Raúl Fernández clocked his best lap of the day in the opening session, whilst Albert Arenas kept his best effort for the final outing of the day here at Jerez. Fernández ended up tenth overall, 0.644 seconds off the top, after completing half a century of laps around the Circuit de Jerez – Ángel Nieto. The reigning Junior Moto3 World Champion enjoyed a positive day, gathering as much information as possible to work from and improve further over the coming two days. His teammate Albert Arenas finished the day in fifteenth position, just a tenth outside the top ten, after an intense day that saw him complete 49 laps over the three sessions.

10th Raúl Fernández 1:46.842 (52 laps): “Today has been a pretty positive day but we have to keep working like this. We are improving from session to session. This is my first test alongside the rest of the World Championship riders and am trying to gather as much information as possible to make me faster. I am happy with the team and the job we have done so far here at Jerez.”

15th Albert Arenas 1:46.945 (49 laps): “It has been a full day, with a lot of work and the odd setback. I am happy with the pace we set in the final session, when. We found our way forward and established a good base to continue progressing from. We still have a lot to squeeze out of these next two days before we are fully prepared.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team return to action at Jerez

Can Öncü completes the first of three days of Moto3 Official Test at Jerez Circuit - Angel Nieto.

02/20/2019 - Jerez Circuit - Angel Nieto

The 2019 preseason got officially underway for Can Öncü and Red Bull KTM Ajo on Wednesday at the Jerez Circuit - Angel Nieto. After the winter break, the Turkish rider got back on his KTM on Monday and Tuesday of this week in a private test, and today he undertook the first of three days of the Official Test at the same circuit. The winner of the 2018 Red Bull Rookies Cup continued his adaptation to the World Championship and marked a steady progress throughout today's sessions.

Early in the morning, Can Öncü went out on track with the aim of putting in as many kilometres as possible and continuing to learn as much as possible about his new bike. The rider and his team focused their work on the setup of the KTM Moto3 machine, testing different settings and new parts. The rookie set his best time -1:47.443- on his final stint, ending the day in twenty-second overall after 64 laps.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will have two more days of testing at the Jerez Circuit - Angel Nieto in which he will have the chance to continue learning.

Aki Ajo - Team manager

"This year everything will be new for Can Öncü, since last season he only competed in one Grand Prix as a wildcard. Today was his first Official Test as a permanent rider in Moto3, with all the other riders, which is very exciting for him and for us. Can is 15 years old and a great talent, but he is very young and we have to give him time to learn and to adapt to the working style of the Moto3 World Championship. We don’t want to put too much pressure on him, so we can make sure that he can grow and progress race after race."


"It was a good day for us, I felt very positive. We have to continue working hard, because we still have a lot to learn. I have to become more familiar with the bike and the World Championship as a whole, and try to be more consistent. We have two more days of testing here at Jerez, which is very positive because I will have more time to adapt to the class and keep improving along with the team. If we continue working hard, then little by little we will be prepared for the start of the season."

McPhee and Sasaki back to Moto3 business at Jerez

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders kick off three days of official testing at the penultimate outing of the preseason, before the start of the World Championship on March 10th.

A week after completing a private test at the Sepang International Circuit, John McPhee and Ayumu Sasaki were back to work with their respective technical crews at the Jerez – Angel Nieto Circuit today, as they continue developing their machines ahead of the upcoming 2019 Moto3 season. With favourable weather conditions on the opening day of three, the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders evaluated a new engine from Honda as well as some new parts.

McPhee spent his day testing the new engine and some other new parts that Honda have brought to this test. The Scottish rider and his crew were keen to assess the performance of the new motor and worked throughout the day with medium tyres as they tried to find a strong and consistent pace. McPhee ended the opening day in 12th position, with a best time of 1’46.881 after 55 laps.

His teammate Ayumu Sasaki started out with the same base setting he established at Sepang, assessing its performance at a circuit with different characteristics and reporting positive feedback. The Japanese rider worked hard over his 51 laps, ending the day in 17th position with a best time of 1’47.114.

The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders and their technical staff will continue with official testing duties tomorrow and Friday here at the Jerez – Angel Nieto Circuit.


#71 Ayumu Sasaki

"Today has been a good day. We have tested a lot of things that we had also tried at the test in Malaysia, seeing how they worked at a different circuit and confirming that we are on the right path. We started with the same set-up as the first day at Sepang and then changed it to what we had on the final day there. The idea was to see which was more suited to this track and it seems like the latter one is better here. I am happy with the way the day went - we have areas that we still need to improve but we are moving in the right direction."

#17 John McPhee

"It has been a very good first day here at Jerez. We continued to follow our plan to try and understand the new engine that Honda have brought, as well as the gearbox and in particular the engine braking. I am very impressed with the new motor, which seems to be a step forward. During the first two sessions we worked mainly on engine braking and the clutch to give us a good starting point. We didn’t use the soft tyre at all today but I am happy with the lap time on the medium, as well as the consistency. In general, we are very happy with the first day – we have things we want to try tomorrow but we have established a good base."

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