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Nov 15, 2013

AMA Pro Superbike Champion Herrin Makes His Moto2 Testing Debut At Jerez

FIM Moto2 World Championship: Tito Rabat (53).
Zarco & Herrin debut for Caterham Moto Racing Team

Post Season Test – Day 1

Circuito de Jerez, 14th November 2013

Circuit Length: 4.428km
Session – 10:00 – 18:00

Bike # 5 – Johann Zarco - 70 laps
Bike # 2 – Josh Herrin - 60 laps

Weather: Track temp 26°C – Dry

The newly formed Caterham Moto Racing Team hit the track for their first Moto2 test session in Jerez [Thursday], fielding 2014 rider line-up Josh Herrin and Johann Zarco.

Today’s test was always going to be about the riders and team getting to know each other and further understanding the bike, rather than chasing times.

For Johann the day did not quite go to plan with fuel injection issues hampering his morning running but the afternoon picked up and tomorrow he will work towards posting lap times.

It may have been a day of firsts for Moto 2 rookie Josh Herrin, who has not ridden the bike or raced in Europe before, but he performed well and although the steep learning curve was clear he posted his best time on 37 lap-old tyres, proving there is way more to come from the young American.

Johann Zarco “We have a good team here at Caterham with nice people, but it is new for everyone today and we have to get used to everything, discover the bike and trust that moving through the test we will improve.

“This morning we had a problem with the engine which lost us time and meant we had to change the plan for today, so I had to stay calm and focussed.

“We first set the bike up with the old suspension as I have a good feeling with this, but I could not be quite as fast as I wanted, so we changed the suspension and although my lap times did not improve the feeling was better in the the afternoon, which was really positive for me.

“It is difficult, having got into a rhythm with the team I completed the season with, and moving to a new team always takes time but today we have made good progress.”

Josh Herrin “It was an all-round fun day today on the Moto2 bike with my new team.

“I have come to grips with the track now and I have been getting more comfortable with the bike all day. We are within about 1.5 seconds of the pole time here this year and for some reason some of the guys out there have different motors to the ones we race with, so it is tough to really compare lap times.

“I am always trying to push for better times and today was no exception, but this is the first day on the bike, with the team and at the track, so in reality I am out of my comfort zone.

“To be honest, I was expecting this to be similar to bikes I have ridden before but it was completely different, so it has taken today to get used to the bike and now I can work on the setup and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:


Just four days after the end of the 2013 season the Moto2 teams were back in action at Jerez de la Frontera today, where Xavier Simeon made his debut on the Moto2 Federal Oil Gresini machine. The Belgian completed 71 intense laps as he worked on adapting to a new bike and team. Meanwhile Lorenzo Baldassarri also completed some laps on the Moto2 bike, which is much more suited to his size than the relatively miniscule Moto3 that he has struggled with all year.

Xavier Simeon (1'43.9 - 71 laps) "I am very happy and proud to have made my debut with this team today. We spent today adjusting the seat position and generally altering the bike to suit my dimensions and riding style. I am happy and looking forward to focusing more on the set-up tomorrow.”

Lorenzo Baldassarri (1'45.1 – 55 laps) “It doesn't feel real that I am finally on a bike that I am comfortable with and from now on my height and weight won't be a problem. I am really happy and after getting a first feel for the bike today I am looking forward to improving my lap times tomorrow, although it is very early days yet and I need to spend time adjusting to the characteristics of this bike. I am excited about this new experience though and I enjoyed my 55 laps today a lot!”

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:


Lorenzo Baldassari suffered his first crash in Moto2 today, and it came with a dislocation of his shoulder. The Italian rookie did not, however, lose confidence and, after receiving treatment at the medical center in Jerez, got back on his bike and was able to resume his pace.

It was a positive second day for the Xavier Simeon, despite a long spell in the pits. He was able to stop the clock at 1’42.9. He focused especially on the front axle, postponing additional work on the setup until future tests.

Xavier Simeon (1' 42" 9) "I am satisfied with the day, although due to a mechanical issue I was forced back to the garage for quite a while. We did a good job with the front end and gathered a lot of data, with which we will continue to work at the next test. The synergy of the group is good and everyone is working in the best way.”

Lorenzo Baldassarri (1' 44" 7) “Unfortunately we had a crash, but the desire to get back on track after the doctors looked at my shoulder meant that we rode again later. There was a little pain, but I gritted my teeth and I am happy that we got back on the pace even when hurting. I think that these two days have been positive and I can’t wait to get back on track, because I am enjoying myself.”

More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:

Jerez, Spain - 15 November 2013: Mika Kallio and Esteve "Tito" Rabat signed off a successful 2013 season for the Marc VDS Racing Team, with a positive two-day test at the Jerez circuit in Southern Spain.

For Rabat the test was his first appearance for the Marc VDS Racing Team, as well his first opportunity to test the 2014 Kalex Moto2 machine he'll campaign next season. The 24-year-old Spaniard was immediately on the pace, ending the test second on the timesheet and almost one second inside his own lap record, set during this year's Spanish Grand Prix, which he won convincingly.

Kallio also tested the 2014 Kalex with positive results, although an electrical issue limited his time on the bike during the opening day of the test. Despite the technical issues, the 31-year-old Finn declared himself happy with the new bike, on which he posted a lap time of 1'42.776 to end the test fourth on combined times.

Rabat and Kallio will now enjoy two months off after a long and arduous season, before returning to the track on 11th February for the start of pre-season testing at Valencia.

Tito Rabat #53 // 1'42.286 // 2nd // @TitoRabat
"I'm very happy with the progress made on both days. The first day I had a good feeling with the bike and the second day was even better. Working with my new crew and my new teammate, Mika, has been good, and we communicate well together as a team already. So, the start with Marc VDS has been a good one for me, but now we need to keep working over the winter and during pre-season testing, because the target is to fight for the win in every race next year. After these two days with the team in Jerez, I believe this is an achievable goal."

Mika Kallio #36 // 1'42.776 // 4th
"We had a small technical problem, so we didn't get so many laps with the 2014 bike yesterday, but we did enough laps to see that there was an improvement, especially when trail braking into the turns. The front feeling was better, with more feedback from the tyre, which gives you more confidence to push into the turn with more speed. This is a big positive for next year. We also tried different swinging arm options with the new frame and I think we've found a good combination for this track. The Kalex guys have done a good job and it was a positive way to end the year. It's been a tough season, so now is the time to relax for a few weeks before returning to training, ready for pre-season testing in February."

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
"At Jerez we welcomed Tito into the team for the first time, but after just two-days with us he's already working well with his new crew, as his lap times illustrate quite clearly. His approach to testing is impressive, as he makes every single lap count. His enthusiasm for racing is also contagious; if they didn't shut the track at night I think he'd still be out there testing in the dark! He is a good fit for our team and I'm looking forward to working with him in 2014. Mika also had a successful test here at Jerez, quickly getting to grips with evaluating the 2014 Kalex, despite some technical issues limiting his track time. Now we head into the winter break, which I hope both riders will use to recharge their batteries ready for the new season, which starts with testing in February."

Marc van der Straten // President, Marc VDS Racing Team
"The 2013 season was our most successful to date, but I'm already looking forward to next year having seen what Mika and Tito have accomplished on the 2014 bike during these two days at Jerez. This was Tito's first test with the team, but he was straight down to work with his new crew and his lap times show clearly that he's ready to make the next step with the Marc VDS Racing Team. He certainly made an impressive debut on our bike. Our goal for next season is clear; to win the title that eluded us this year and, with Mika and Tito, I believe we have two riders more than capable of doing exactly that. I for one can't wait for the 2014 season to get underway."
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