2015 Valencia Moto2 And Moto3 Test Day 1 Times: Quartararo And Zarco Lead French Onslaught

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.

Moto2 times:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 5 Johann Zarco Kalex 1:34.754    
2 22 Sam Lowes Speed Up 1:35.106 0.352 0.352
3 1 Tito Rabat Kalex 1:35.145 0.391 0.039
4 12 Thomas Luthi Kalex 1:35.194 0.440 0.049
5 19 Xavier Simeon Kalex 1:35.264 0.510 0.070
6 40 Alex Rins Kalex 1:35.630 0.876 0.366
7 39 Luis Salom Kalex 1:35.687 0.933 0.057
8 21 Franco Morbidelli Kalex 1:35.813 1.059 0.126
9 94 Jonas Folger Kalex 1:35.871 1.117 0.058
10 3 Simone Corsi Kalex 1:35.895 1.141 0.024
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
14 77 Dominique Aegerter Kalex 1:36.209 1.455 0.079
15 36 Mika Kallio Kalex 1:36.409 1.655 0.200
16 55 Hafizh Syahrin Kalex 1:36.411 1.657 0.002
17 7 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex 1:36.435 1.681 0.024
18 30 Takaaki Nakagami Kalex 1:36.456 1.702 0.021
19 11 Sandro Cortese Kalex 1:36.496 1.742 0.040
20 25 Azlan Shah Kalex 1:36.743 1.989 0.247
21 49 Axel Pons Kalex 1:36.791 2.037 0.048
22 10 Thitipong Warokorn Kalex 1:37.302 2.548 0.511
23 96 Louis Rossi Tech 3 1:37.430 2.676 0.128
24 70 Robin Mulhauser Kalex 1:37.469 2.715 0.039
25 88 Ricky Cardus Tech 3 1:37.492 2.738 0.023
26 73 Alex Marquez Kalex 1:37.773 3.019 0.281
27 4 Randy Krummenacher Kalex 1:38.121 3.367 0.348
28 2 Jesko Raffin Kalex 1:38.252 3.498 0.131
29 66 Florian Alt Suter 1:39.518 4.764 1.266

Moto3 times:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 20 Fabio Quartararo Honda 1:39.392    
2 52 Danny Kent Honda 1:39.415 0.023 0.023
3 33 Enea Bastianini Honda 1:39.669 0.277 0.254
4 23 Niccolo Antonelli Honda 1:39.784 0.392 0.115
5 44 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1:39.805 0.413 0.021
6 32 Isaac Viñales Husqvarna 1:39.841 0.449 0.036
7 98 Karel Hanika KTM 1:39.982 0.590 0.141
8 5 Romano Fenati KTM 1:40.017 0.625 0.035
9 58 Juanfran Guevara Mahindra 1:40.119 0.727 0.102
10 88 Jorge Martin Mahindra 1:40.154 0.762 0.035
11 41 Brad Binder KTM 1:40.221 0.829 0.067
12 10 Alexis Masbou Honda 1:40.286 0.894 0.065
13 11 Livio Loi Honda 1:40.317 0.925 0.031
14 9 Jorge Navarro Honda 1:40.388 0.996 0.071
15 16 Andrea Migno KTM 1:40.427 1.035 0.039
16 55 Andrea Locatelli Honda 1:40.447 1.055 0.020
17 76 Hiroki Ono Honda 1:40.570 1.178 0.123
18 17 John Mcphee Honda 1:40.592 1.200 0.022
19 12 Mateo Ferrari Mahindra 1:40.693 1.301 0.101
20 24 Tatsuki Suzuki Mahindra 1:40.698 1.306 0.005
21 31 Niklas Ajo KTM 1:40.806 1.414 0.108
22 95 Jules Danilo Honda 1:40.877 1.485 0.071
23 65 Philipp Oettl KTM 1:40.985 1.593 0.108
24 91 Gabriel Rodrigo KTM 1:41.018 1.626 0.033
25 7 Efren Vazquez Honda 1:41.035 1.643 0.017
26 22 Ana Carrasco KTM 1:41.430 2.038 0.395
27 6 Maria Herrera Husqvarna 1:41.454 2.062 0.024
28 21 Francesco Bagnaia Mahindra 1:41.788 2.396 0.334
29 29 Stefano Manzi Mahindra 1:41.815 2.423 0.027
30 2 Remy Gardner Mahindra 1:41.869 2.477 0.054
31 19 Alessandro Tonucci Mahindra 1:42.197 2.805 0.328
32 40 Daryn Binder Mahindra 1:42.487 3.095 0.290

 

2015
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Comments

I know he hasn't much time on the bike yet, but Rins is already within a second of the leaders while Alex Marquez seems to be struggling a little bit, over 3 seconds off.

Marquez is running times similar to what Josh Herrin did last year at Valencia, preseason. With that being said, here's a tidbit I heard in an interview recently:

Josh Herrin: "one of the biggest problems I had all year was whenever I would tip into a corner, the shield of my helmet would always smack the windscreen.....and we never could fix that problem"

Apologies, I know this isn't even remotely related to the topic here, but I haven't heard anybody talk about this and it's utterly fascinating to me.

Marquez becoming World Champ as a 20-year-old, then Miller skipping Moto2 and now Quartararo, a fifteen-year-old, running lap-record-pace right from his first outing in Moto3.

On the one hand, I am amazed by the apparent amount of talent that is currently entering all classes. But on the other hand, it seems that the big teams have become obsessed with grabbing talents - the younger the better. Maybe that's just me. But I feel like 5 or 6 years from now, MotoGP will be a bunch of 18-year-olds with braces braking lap records.

But maybe that's just normal with the sport becoming more and more popular among youngsters in Southern Europe. It seems that MM93 and his peers are just the forerunners of a whole generation of young talents emerging from support programmes like the CEV championship in Spain.

Hopefully Moto America can be in the US what the spanish championship is for Europe.

I'll say well done to the lone Brit in Moto 2. I was impressed by Sam on WSS, he had certainly not the fastest straight line bike by a long chalk but won a WC.

However his pre-season testing last year was pretty good but the season was a disappointment. I think this is about the bike and I reckon if that is good this year (and it appears that he now has team-mates) he could do well. He was on his own last year with a different liveried sponsor at virtually every race.

But who knows; that's why racing is brilliant!

Surprised at where AM is, looks like it might take him a while to adapt?

"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."

Out of curiosity, what material was Lowes' swingarm made from previously? I though CF was banned.

Fabio Quartararo should have the title wrapped up by Brno. Good to see I'll be getting a sizeable return on the money from my house which I have invested on him getting the Moto3 title.

;)

Let's not forget this is Moto3 which is anything but predictable. I wouldn't be willing to bet anything on anyone winning a race or a championship.

Not sure Sam Lowes does have team-mates. He's the only one run by Speed Up - the other two are run by the Qatari Federation and we don't know yet how much crossover of information there is.

Seriously, the guy has not been the same since he got busted for the illicit air filter. What gives? He was fighting for podiums up until that point.