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Feb 20, 2014

Kallio Wins Fast-Lap Bragging Rights As Moto2 Testing Concludes At Jerez

Mika Kallio (36).

FIM Moto2 World Championship

Jerez, Spain

February 20, 2014

Overall Best Test Times (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Mika Kallio, Finland (Kalex), 1:42.169

2. Esteve "Tito" Rabat, Spain (Kalex), 1:42.233

3. Thomas Luthi, Switzerland (Suter), 1:42.254

4. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Kalex), 1:42.465

5. Alex De Angelis, San Marino (Suter), 1:42.847

6. Sandro Cortese, Germany (Kalex), 1:42.850

7. Sam Lowes, UK (Speed Up), 1:42.851

8. Lorenzo Baldassarri, Italy (Suter), 1:42.923

9. Xavier Simeon, Belgium (Suter), 1:42.925

10. Simone Corsi, Italy (Forward KLX), 1:43.014

11. Julian Simon, Spain (Kalex), 1:43.020

12. Jonas Folger, Germany (Kalex), 1:43.033

13. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Kalex), 1:43.181

14. Marcel Schrotter, Germany (Tech 3), 1:43.209

15. Johann Zarco, France (Caterham Suter), 1:43.216

16. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Kalex), 1:43.226

17. Nico Terol, Spain (Suter), 1:43.245

18. Axel Pons, Spain (Kalex), 1:43.272

19. Mattia Pasini, Italy (Forward KLX), 1:43.291

20. Alex Marinelarena, Spain (Tech 3), 1:43.367

21. Luis Salom, Spain (Kalex), 1:43.389

22. Dominique Aegerter, Switzerland (Suter), 1:43.401

23. Jordi Torres, Spain (Suter), 1:43.537

24. Anthony West, Australia (Speed Up), 1:43.636

25. Louis Rossi, France (Kalex), 1:43.669

26. Josh Herrin, USA (Caterham Suter), 1:43.732

27. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (Kalex), 1:43.773

28. Randy Krummenacher, Switzerland (Suter), 1:43.961

29. Tetsuta Nagashima, Japan (TSR), 1:44.527

30. Roman Ramos, Spain (Speed Up), 1:44.530

31. Thitipong Warokorn, Thailand (Kalex), 1:44.682

32. Azlan Shah, Malaysia (Kalex), 1:44.693

33. Robin Mulhauser, Switzerland (Suter), 1:45.254



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

Kallio and Rabat lead the field in Jerez
Jerez, Spain – 20 February 2014: Mika Kallio smashed the Jerez lap record by over a second on the final day in Spain, posting a time of 1’42.169 to finish the three days of testing at the top of the timesheet, just as his Marc VDS teammate, Tito Rabat, did one week ago in Valencia.

Rabat looked all set to repeat the success of Valencia, after finally ousting Tom Lüthi from the number one slot on the timesheet with a time of 1’42.223. But shortly after calling a halt to testing, the 24-year-old Spaniard had to sit and watch as his teammate finally denied him the top spot.

It was a tough test for the team’s Moto3 rider, Livio Loi. The 16-year-old Belgian made good progress on the opening day, but the increased pace meant he struggled to find a good feeling with the bike on the remaining two days.

Kallio and Rabat will now head to Australia, where they’ll participate in a Dunlop Moto2 tyre test at Phillip Island from 3 – 5 March, their final test ahead of the first race of the season in Qatar. Loi will return to Jerez from 11-13 March, to participate in the final Moto3 test.

Mika Kallio: 1st – 1’42.169
““The first two days we confirmed the settings we tested in Valencia, keeping our preferred tyres for the race and qualifying simulations today. In the race simulation I was happy with my speed and consistency, with my best and worst laps separated by just half a second. In the qualifying simulation I finally had the feeling that was missing last year - the feeling of being on the limit. I knew I was on a fast lap, but it’s always good to see it confirmed on timesheet, especially when your name is on the top! Okay, it’s only testing, but it all builds confidence ahead of the first race.”

Tito Rabat: 2nd – 1’42.223
“It’s been a good test for us, as we’ve managed to test a lot of things on the bike over the three days. Each time we’ve made a small step, but always in the right direction, constantly improving the bike and the lap time. We still have some things to try in Phillip Island next month, mainly tyres and fairings, but I’m happy with where we’re at right now. The aim during testing was always to build towards the first race in Qatar and that’s exactly what we’ve done here at Jerez and in Valencia last week.”

Livio Loi: 12th – 1’46.906
“The first day I was already quicker than I was here last year, but increasing your pace also highlights problems with the set-up of the bike that weren’t apparent before. We worked through different settings on the second day, and there was some improvement, but we made a bigger step today, and I was able to break into the 1’46s bracket for the first time. Of course, now I’m faster again, the bike again feels different and this is something we’ll have to address at the next test. It’s a lot of work, but when it brings results like it has today then it’s definitely worth it.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal“There’s not much I can say about Mika and Tito, other than they’ve done a great job once again. With Tito topping the timesheet in Valencia and Mika claiming the top spot here in Jerez, it means we go into the new season confident that both riders will be able to fight, not just for race wins, but also for the championship. With Livio we still have some work to do. He improved his pace compared to last year straight away, but then stalled because the bike felt different at this new pace. Today he made a few small changes, but the improvement came from him, not the bike, and he did a good job to break the 1’47s barrier this afternoon. Now he needs to come back next month, start at the same pace and make another step, which, again, can only come from him.”





More, from a press release issued by Caterham Moto2 Team:

Caterham Moto Racing complete Jerez test
Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana, 13th February 2014
Circuit Length: 4.005km
Bike # 5 – Johann Zarco, best time – 1:43.216
Bike # 2 – Josh Herrin, best time – 1:43.732
Weather: air temperature 11°C (dry) / track temperature 17°C max

Caterham Moto Racing riders Johann Zarco and Josh Herrin completed day three of the first official IRTA test at the Circuit of Jerez.

Poor weather conditions held up the morning practice with low fog significantly reducing visibility. After a 90 minute delay pit lane opened and the combined Moto 2 / Moto 3 session got underway.

The primary focus of the day saw both Johann Zarco and Josh Herrin use their time on track to get back into a rhythm, before trying out various set up changes on the #2 and #5 Caterham Suter.

Having used the test as an opportunity to try alternative settings and gain valuable data, the Caterham Moto Racing team will return to Jerez in just over two weeks for the final Moto2 pre-season test.

Johann Zarco: “We were working a lot today on the technical side so we didn’t improve our lap time but we did gather some good information.

“I hope we will continue to progress in the next test as it’s imperative to ensure we are ready for the first race at Qatar. In the meantime I will train hard myself so I am prepared and stronger as a rider and ready to push to the limit on the bike in March.”

Josh Herrin: “Today we learned a lot about set-up and I felt more comfortable on the bike. We are returning home feeling confident and knowing that we will improve even more at the test here in two weeks.

“Overall I think we have accomplished a lot in Jerez. I am happy that straight after my crash yesterday I was able to rebound and achieve a personal best time and I am pleased with how much data we have collected on the Caterham Suter. I want to thank all of my team for working so hard and supporting me throughout.”

Johan Stigefelt: “We are a new team with a new chassis’ and suspensions so there are still many things we need to go through but on a whole I am happy and content with how this test has gone.

“We made a couple of steps backwards trying different settings but by doing so we also made some really good steps going forward. It is important not to look too much at what the other riders are doing in order to stay focussed.

“Throughout the test Johann has shown good consistency with his lap times on old tyres. Obviously we are not a 100% happy as we want to go faster but I believe with the data we’ve collected we can achieve this here in March.

“Since testing at Jerez in November last year, Josh has made a big step to be within 1:5 seconds from the front guys. He is constantly improving and we know he can go faster.

“I think the next test here will solve a lot of things in terms of where we are in the standings. When everyone is using the same engines it will be a better resemblance of performance. We need these three extra days to make the bike better and after that I am very convinced we will be prepared for Qatar and can make a good start to the season." 





More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

The NGM Forward Racing Team leave Jerez with positive feelings

Today was the third and last day of the Moto2 official test session at Jerez for the NGM Forward Racing Team that made its debut on board of the new FORWARD KLX. The fog spoiled the morning session, but Simone Corsi made the best out of the afternoon session, scoring a good lap time (1’43.014) and finishing in the top ten of the combined classification of the three days.

Corsi leaves Jerez confident of the potential of the Forward KLX project, despite a technical problem at the engine later today. Mattia Pasini finished with an encouraging 1’43.291. Both riders gathered important data and worked on the set up of the new machine, improving their lap times on the Jerez track.

The NGM Forward Racing Team will be back on track in the last test session before the opening round of the Qatar GP scheduled in two weeks at Jerez, from the 11th to the 13th of March.


Simone Corsi:

“Today I found a good feeling with the bike and I could improve my lap times. We have missed one test, so it was important to do as many kilometres as possible and work on the setting of the bike. It’s a pity that I had an engine problem this afternoon, when I was riding with a good pace. All in all I’m happy with the feeling I have on the bike”.

Mattia Pasini:

“I’m very satisfied of these 3 days of test. I’m still not 100% after the surgery I had on my wrist last December, but it was important to be back on track and do the necessary shakedown work with the machine. I was comfortable with the bike since the beginning and we gathered important information that will be useful to improve the set up of the machine. I’m confident that we will be fast with these new bikes”.



More, from a press release issued by QMMF Racing Team:

QMMF Racing Team concludes second pre-season test with promising results

QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West and his new team-mate Román Ramos made further progress with the set-up of their Speed Up prototypes and left the second official pre-season test of the Moto2 category with promising results.

Evaluating the latest version of his Speed Up prototype with a revised frame and Öhlins suspension, 32-year-old West was immediately fast and riding within the top ten on the first day. Slowed by an engine problem on day two, he was back up to speed on the third and final day, riding very consistently below his previous personal best time on the famous Jerez circuit.

23-year-old Spaniard Roman Ramos, who joined QMMF Racing Team as West’s new teammate, also made further progress in adapting to his new bike. Aided by his track knowledge that he gained riding in the Spanish Championship, he improved consistently throughout the three days at Jerez and now looks forward to the next official test at Jerez that will take place on March 11th to 13th.

Anthony West – 24th in 1.43,636

“It was a good test for us. I was up to speed pretty much straight away on the first day and managed to improve on my personal best time. On the second day, we made a lot of changes to the set-up of the bike. When I went out on the track, I only did three laps before we ran into an engine problem. Not being able to ride as much as we had planned was a little bit disappointing. For day three, we put a new engine in and the bike ran perfectly again, but the track conditions weren’t as good as on the previous days, so I couldn’t improve my best lap time. But I am still happy with the test result, because I did ten laps in the 1.43’s consistently on day three, which is a lap time that I had never achieved at Jerez in previous years. All in all, we are starting to head in a really good direction with the bike. I am able to push harder and I know where the front wheel is, whereas last year, it often felt as if I was going blind into the turns. Now, we are starting to understand the new chassis and the Öhlins suspension, which makes me confident for the season. I am sure about further improvements at the next test!”

Roman Ramos – 30th in 1.44,530

“At this stage, things couldn’t be better. We tried a lot of things on the bike and came to the right conclusions that will help us at the next test. We also improved our lap times, which is mainly down to me riding better and coming to grips with the bike. I feel good on the Speed Up, even though it’s obvious that there is still a lot left to do. We are still far from the best possible set-up, but we learned important things again and we continue to make progress in small steps. My track knowledge from the Spanish Championship helped me a lot here at Jerez. I am also very happy with the work and the ambience in the team, they are all great guys and true professionals. At times, I still can’t believe that I am now competing against the best in the world. I want to thank QMMF for the opportunity to ride for Qatar in the World Championship and for putting their trust in me. I will try everything to give them the results they expect and deserve!”



More, from a press release issued by Tech 3:

Progress continues for Tech3’s Schrotter and Marinelarena at Jerez

Tech3 Racing Team’s Marcel Schrotter and Álex Mariñelarena concluded the second pre-season, three day test at Circuito de Jerez, in southern Spain today. Both riders continued to make strides forward and took advantage of the additional time with the Mistral 610, Moto2 bike around the 4.423 kilometre circuit.

The weather was predominantly good in Andalucía, although the Moto2 riders did not ride until after 13:00 on the opening day, due to waiting for the circuit to dry from the previous day’s rain. Conditions on Wednesday were clear, but a slight fog on Thursday morning did not recede until lunchtime, and caused cooler temperatures for the remainder of the day.

Marcel Schrotter continued to learn and explore options with his Tech3 Racing Team Mistral 610, which is entirely designed and produced by the French motorsport team. After running a race simulation today and working closely with the Tech3 Racing Team, Schrotter proceeded to adapt and make advancements towards finding a feeling with the bike which would suit his riding style. His progress was positive, as he significantly improved his lap times over the three day test. Working from the base setup which he rode with in Valencia, the Bavarian rider completed the opening session of testing on Tuesday with a 1:45.112. After some fine tuning, the young German rider found a comfortable setup, and finished the test in 14th position, with a best time of 1:43.209. The reduction in time amounted to almost two seconds from his first outing on Tuesday.

Álex Mariñelarena further accustomed himself with the Mistral 610 which he will compete with in his inaugural, full time Moto2 season this year. Continuing from his testing in Valencia, the young Spanish rider built on his experience and knowledge of the Moto2 bike and completed 180 laps at Jerez. With his Tech3 Racing Team, he experimented with various set up strategies, and worked around minor obstacles in preparation for the season’s opening race. With the former CEV Buckler race winner’s confidence ever growing, his lap times proceeded to reduce. Mariñelarena’s fastest time on the opening day of testing was 1:44.499. By the conclusion of the test on Thursday evening, the young Spanish rider’s best time was 1:43.367, which left him in 20th position, an improvement of over a second.

Tech3 Racing Team’s Moto2 riders will attend one final testing session before the season opener at the Losail Circuit, Qatar on the 23rd of March. The next session will commence on the 11th of March at the Circuito De Jerez, Spain.

Marcel Schrotter - 14th- 1:43.209:

“Altogether, I’m pretty happy with how this test went. The gap to fifth position is not even half a second, which is a good position to start from for the final test here in 3 weeks. Despite the weather not being ideal, we managed to work through our test schedule on the last day, which was very important especially after the time we lost in Valencia. We tried numerous setup modifications and made some really good progress. At the beginning of the test we concentrated especially on improving the turning of the bike, which I’m really happy with now. Today, I did my first long run, as we wanted to collect data about my feeling with the bike on used tyres.”

Alex Marinelarena - 20th - 1:43.367:

“This was a positive test for us. On the first day, the team and I worked on the turning of the bike, which we improved a lot and I am happy about. On Wednesday, there was an issue with the rear tyre which kept spinning a lot, but today we solved this and I improved my times quickly after. The bike felt very good and the gap to first place is only just over a second. This test was a steady improvement, after 180 laps in three test days, we are going home happy. We have improved our CEV pole by six tenths of a second."

Hervé Poncharal –Tech3 Racing Team owner:

“The last 3 days have definitely been positive for our team. I’m satisfied with the approach and the improvement Marcel and Axel have shown. This has only been the second time they have been on the bike this season. Valencia was kind of a shakedown test for us, but now we have started to prepare for the upcoming season. I’m really confident, even if this test has shown once again how competitive this category is, with 20 riders within one second at one point. However we have a strong team and will give our all to be up there and fight for consistent top 10 finishes.”



More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

SIMEON AND BALDASSARRI HIT THE TOP TEN AS JEREZ TEST CONCLUDES

The Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 and Xavier Siméon completed today a successful three days of testing at the Jerez circuit: despite the injury he suffered in early February in Almeria, which forced him to miss the previous two test sessions, the Belgian rider recovered quickly, hitting the top ten with the ninth fastest time overall over the three days - 1'42 "925 - with a very small gap from the top.

Siméon also showed a good race pace, an equally positive aspect ahead of the first Grand Prix of the season, scheduled in just over a month.

Aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine, Lorenzo Baldassarri was also surprisingly fast during all the tests carried out during the month of February on Spanish soil; today, in particular, the young Italian signed the eighth fastest time in 1’42”923, making him the second quickest Moto2 rookie on the track, behind Sam Lowes, as well as the fastest among the debutants coming from Moto3.

The last meeting in preparation for the 2014 season is always scheduled at Jerez, from 11th to 13th of March, for a further three days of testing.

XAVIER SIMEON (1'42"925 - 68 LAPS)

“Today we made a big step forward: apart from the good lap time, I was able to keep a good pace, constantly lapping near the 1’43” mark, and this is important for race distance. The satisfaction is great because this was my first real test of the year and it’s nice to be already in the top ten; the team worked very well, yesterday we struggled a bit, but today the situation was a lot better”.

LORENZO BALDASSARRI (1'42"923 - 51 LAPS)

“I'm very happy, I honestly didn’t expect to be able to stay already in the top ten, it's a nice surprise! We worked well during all tests: in Almeria, Valencia and also here in Jerez we were able to improve more and more, calmly and step by step. Today we wanted to do a race simulation but we were not able to do it: after three consecutive days of testing I was a little tired. Now let's look at the last test, scheduled in March, where we will try to find more grip, which we still lack a bit, especially when the tyres start to wear out”.

FAUSTO GRESINI

“Both our riders achieved extraordinary results in this test: Siméon has recovered from the accident that occurred at Almeria and despite having missed the previous two tests, unlike his rivals, he was immediately competitive, making a good job in all these three days. We have to work a little bit on his bike in order to fit his driving style, but right now we are not far from the top. Baldassarri’s result is also fantastic: he was not only strong, but once again he proved to be really focused on his objectives. He still has a long way to go, but we will help him in his path of growth”.