The weather smiled a little less kindly on the second day of testing at Jerez, the day starting late and under overcast skies, with rain sending the teams scuttling back to the pits towards the end of the day. Despite the weather, the names at the top of the testing timesheets are familiar, with the Kalexes crowding the top of the Moto2 timesheets, and the KTMs overrunning Moto3.
In Moto2, it was Scott Redding setting a positively scorching pace on his Marc VDS Racing Kalex, diving half a second under the Moto2 outright lap record set by Stefan Bradl during qualifying last year. Italtrans rider Claudio Corti set the 2nd fastest time, two tenths behind Redding, while Interwetten's Thomas Luthi took the 3rd spot and was fastest Suter rider, three tenths off the pace of Redding. The Kalexes of Takaaki Nakagami and Pol Espargaro followed, with Julian Simon the first FTR rider, eight tenths behind Redding, and Bradley Smith the quickest Tech 3 rider, a second off his compatriot Redding in 8th spot, after a day spent struggling with setup forcing the team to consider reverting to settings used back in November.
In the Moto3 class, another Briton, Red Bull Ajo's Danny Kent, topped the timesheets on the factory KTM, taking nine tenths off his best time from yesterday and getting within half a second of the 125cc race lap record. While the KTMs are still setting the benchmark for performance, the Repsol-backed Hondas also put on a good showing, with Maverick Viñales, last year's rookie of the year, getting to within two tenths of Kent's time, and finishing well ahead of Hector Faubel and Sancro Cortese. The next Honda was that Miguel Oliveira, but the gap from Oliveira to Kent is large, some 1.4 seconds. Much of the work for the Moto3 teams continues to focus on setting up the electronics, with most of the teams already using the spec Dell'Orto ECU (we incorrectly reported that they were not doing so yesterday), and the system still causing some teams some problems. Alex Marquez, the hotly-tipped younger brother of Marc, spent a large part of the day fighting electronics problems, leaving the Spaniard some 2.7 seconds off the pace, the the fact that he is running the standard NSF engine and not the GEO Tech-tuned engine that Viñales and Oliveira are running contributes significantly to that deficit.
There were plenty of incidents on the second day of testing, however. Around lunchtime, Moto3 rider Alberto Moncaya crashed his Kalex-KTM heavily, sustaining a big knock to the head causing the session to be red-flagged. Moncayo was taken to the medical center, where he was examined and found largely uninjured, though the doctors told him to set out the rest of the day. There was another close escape later on, when Frenchman Louis Rossi fell directly in front of Efren Vazquez, and the Spaniard only narrowly avoided hitting Rossi, falling in the attempt and being badly shaken up. In Moto2, Simone Corsi was forced to grit his teeth to ride, suffering with a strapped and injured little finger on his right hand which he hurt in a crash yesterday.
Meanwhile, there was plenty of drama off the track as well. While Scott Redding was busy ripping up the Jerez track on his Kalex, some local thieves set about stealing the young British rider's paddock scooter, taking advantage of the open access provided to fans to the test (tickets sell for 10 euros a day for the Jerez Moto2 tests). Marc VDS Racing PR chief Ian Wheeler posted a photo of the stolen scooter on his Twitter page, in the hope that race fans near the track may have seen the culprits leaving on the stolen vehicle.
There was also plenty of jockeying with regards to lap times and engine spec. Ian Wheeler joked that Redding had posted his time after shoehorning a CBR1000 engine into his Moto2 bike (Redding is actually riding with a GEO Moto2 engine, though not the official 2012 lump), though given the fact that the same names keep appearing at the top of the timesheets, a preliminary pecking order appears to be establishing itself in Moto2, regardless of engine spec. The truth will be revealed at the final Moto2 and Moto3 test in mid-March, when the Moto2 riders are all handed their official engines, and many of the Honda Moto3 teams are supplied with their GEO Tech-tuned NSF250 engines.
|10||Xavier Simeon||Tech 3||1:43.4||1.2||0.1|
|13||Andrea Iannone||Speed Up||1:43.5||1.3||0.1|
|14||Alex De Angelis||Suter||1:43.6||1.4||0.1|
|15||Mike Di Meglio||Speed Up||1:43.8||1.6||0.2|
|Zulfahmi Khairudin||KTM||No time given|
|Danny Webb||Mahindra||No time given|
|Adrian Martin||Honda||No time given|
|Louis Rossi||Honda||No time given|
125 race lap record: 2009 - Julian Simon - 1'47.057
125 pole lap record: 2010 - Marc Marquez - 1'46.829