With testing for the premier class at Sepang finished, the Moto2 and Moto3 riders took to the track at Valencia on Tuesday. Just about the entire field in both classes rolled out of the pits for the first test of the season, and with the weather improving as the day went on, times soon began to drop. By the end of the day, the fastest men in both classes were lapping under the official lap records.
In the Moto2 class, it was Johann Zarco who was fastest, setting a blistering pace on the Kalex. The Frenchman ended the day with a run that saw him under the pole record on four consecutive laps. Sam Lowes ended the day in 2nd, after a strong first day of testing. Lowes professed himself much happier with the changes to the bike over the winter, the Speed Up now sporting an aluminum swingarm and WP suspension. Reigning Moto2 champion Tito Rabat was third fastest, just behind Lowes, and just under four tenths off the pace of Zarco.
Alex Rins made a very strong debut in the Moto2 class, ending the day in 6th, ahead of his teammate Luis Salom. Former teammate and reigning Moto3 world champion Alex Marquez had a much tougher day, leaving the first day with the 26th fastest time, some three seconds behind Zarco, and over two seconds behind Rins.
In Moto3, newcomer Fabio Quartararo demonstrated why the rules were changed to allow the young Frenchman to move into the Grand Prix paddock a month before he should have been allowed to. The Estrella Galicia rider lapped under the race record, posting four of the five fastest laps set on the day. The only man to trouble the French youngster was Danny Kent, the Englishman posting a very quick time during the second session of the day. Enea Bastianini was the third quickest rider on the day, the Italian confirming the results of his outstanding rookie year. Niccolo Antonelli was fourth fastest, making it a Honda clean sweep of the top times, Miguel Oliveira the first KTM rider in 5th.
Quartararo's times are confirmation of the French youngster's speed. There had been reliable rumors that Quartararo had been lapping at four tenths under the lap record back in November. But there is reason for caution as well. Quartararo is known to be exceptionally quick around Valencia, a track he knows particularly well. How well he will perform once the season gets underway and he starts to race at tracks he doesn't know remains to be seen. Even so, to be this quick this early in his career is a remarkable achievement so far.
|2||22||Sam Lowes||Speed Up||1:35.106||0.352||0.352|
|11||23||Marcel Schrotter||Tech 3||1:35.920||1.166||0.025|
|12||95||Anthony West||Speed Up||1:36.017||1.263||0.097|
|13||60||Julian Simon||Speed Up||1:36.130||1.376||0.113|
|23||96||Louis Rossi||Tech 3||1:37.430||2.676||0.128|
|25||88||Ricky Cardus||Tech 3||1:37.492||2.738||0.023|