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Mar 13, 2014

Nakagami Fastest As Three-Day Moto2 Test Concludes At Jerez

Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy of Dorna/motogp.com.

FIM Moto2 World Championship

Jerez, Spain

March 13, 2014

Day Three Test Times (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Kalex), 1:42.206

2. Sandro Cortese, Germany (Kalex), 1:42.393

3. Thomas Luthi, Switzerland (Suter) 1:42.472

4. Xavier Simeon, Belgium (Suter), 1:42.556

5. Johann Zarco, France (Caterham-Suter), 1:42.616

6. Luis Salom, Spain (Kalex), 1:42.628

7. Lorenzo Baldassari, Italy (Suter), 1:42.639

8. Alex De Angelis, San Marino (Suter), 1:42.699

9. Dominique Aegerter, Switzerland (Suter), 1:42.778

10. Simone Corsi, Italy (Forward-KLX), 1:42.822

11. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Kalex), 1:42.872

12. Jonas Folger, Germany (Kalex), 1:42.910

13. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Kalex), 1:42.936

14. Sam Lowes (Speed Up), 1:42.965

15. Julian Simon, Spain (Kalex), 1:43.024

16. Marcel Schrotter, Germany (Tech 3), 1:43.149

17. Axel Pons, Spain (Kalex), 1:43.187

18. Mattia Pasini, Italy (Forward-KLX), 1:43.189

19. Anthony West, Australia (Speed Up), 1:43.211

20. Louis Rossi, France (Kalex), 1:43.211

21. Josh Herrin, USA (Caterham-Suter), 1:43.622

22. Gino Rea, UK (Suter), 1:43.645

23. Randy Krummenacher, Switzerland (Suter), 1:43.751

24. Azlan Shah, Malaysia (Kalex), 1:43.938

25. Ricky Cardus, Spain (Tech 3), 1:44.029

26. Roman Ramos, Spain (Speed Up), 1:44.099

27. Tetsuta Nagashima, Japan (TSR), 1:44.658

28. Thitipong Warokorn, Thailand (Kalex), 1:45.190

29. Hafizh Syahrin (Malaysia), 1:45.265

30. Robin Mulhauser, Switzerland (Suter), 1:45.361


Overall Best Test Times:

1. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Kalex), 1:42.206

2. Sandro Cortese, Germany (Kalex), 1:42.393

3. Thomas Luthi, Switzerland (Suter) 1:42.472

4. Xavier Simeon, Belgium (Suter), 1:42.556

5. Johann Zarco, France (Caterham-Suter), 1:42.616

6. Luis Salom, Spain (Kalex), 1:42.628

7. Lorenzo Baldassari, Italy (Suter), 1:42.639

8. Alex De Angelis, San Marino (Suter), 1:42.699

9. Dominique Aegerter, Switzerland (Suter), 1:42.778

10. Simone Corsi, Italy (Forward-KLX), 1:42.822

11. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Kalex), 1:42.872

12. Jonas Folger, Germany (Kalex), 1:42.910

13. Sam Lowes (Speed Up), 1:42.928

14. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Kalex), 1:42.936

15. Julian Simon, Spain (Kalex), 1:43.024

16. Marcel Schrotter, Germany (Tech 3), 1:43.149

17. Axel Pons, Spain (Kalex), 1:43.187

18. Mattia Pasini, Italy (Forward-KLX), 1:43.189

19. Anthony West, Australia (Speed Up), 1:43.211

20. Louis Rossi, France (Kalex), 1:43.211

21. Josh Herrin, USA (Caterham-Suter), 1:43.622

22. Gino Rea, UK (Suter), 1:43.645

23. Randy Krummenacher, Switzerland (Suter), 1:43.751

24. Hafizh Syahrin (Malaysia), 1:43.812

25. Azlan Shah, Malaysia (Kalex), 1:43.938

26. Ricky Cardus, Spain (Tech 3), 1:44.029

27. Roman Ramos, Spain (Speed Up), 1:44.099

28. Tetsuta Nagashima, Japan (TSR), 1:44.658

29. Thitipong Warokorn, Thailand (Kalex), 1:45.190

30. Robin Mulhauser, Switzerland (Suter), 1:45.361



More, from a press release issued by AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing:

AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing Conclude Pre-Season Testing at Jerez

Circuit of Jerez, 13th March 201

Circuit Length: 4.423km

Bike # 5 – Johann Zarco P5 – best time – 1:42.616

Bike # 2 – Josh Herrin P21 – best time – 1:43.622

Weather: air temperature 26°C (dry) / track temperature 37°C max

AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing Team concluded a successful pre-season test at Jerez.

With both riders achieving personal best times around the circuit the progress was clear to see.

Johann Zarco was once again running up front, swapping places within the top five and provisionally topping the time sheets in session two. Continuing to lap in the 1m42s the Frenchman impressed with his consistency around the 4.423km track.

Teammate Josh Herrin completed the third and final test day with renewed confidence. Making significant progress on board his #2 Caterham Suter, the American continued to improve his lap time and finished the second session with a new personal best of 1:43.622 just 1.127s from P1.

Johann Zarco: “It was a positive day today because I improved the lap time as I wanted. The times were consistent and the feeling on the bike was good. I was able to concentrate on my riding and improve my style.

“Until now Jerez has always been difficult for me but now I can see how close I am and this has been a good thing going into Qatar.

“Now we can really aim for the podium and have a chance to do well.”

Josh Herrin: “Today went great. We made some changes this morning and it was a huge step in the right direction.

“The bike feels even better than before and I feel confident going into the first race. I’m very happy with how the test went and I believe we will do well in Qatar.”

Johan Stigefelt: “The last pre-season test of the year is over and we have finished on a high. We have been working hard over the last couple of tests and maybe the results haven’t really shown what we are capable of, but we have been doing a good job behind the scenes and sticking to our test plan.

“Everyone has worked really well on both sides and I’m very happy with the riders. Johann is doing a great job, giving good feedback to the technicians and in this way we can always improve the bike. This is not one of Johann’s favourite tracks but he has done incredibly well with consistent laps in the low 1min42s. Josh improved today after we made quite a few modifications from yesterday. The geometry is much better and he now feels more comfortable to do lap times in the 1m43s.

“As predicted it showed here that with equal engines everyone is a lot closer. Now we can see where we really are and just how competitive. The most important thing from this test is that we have found a good base setting for both bikes.

“I’m really happy with how the team is working. I feel we are ready for Qatar and I can’t wait for the first race.”


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

Simone Corsi in the top ten at Jerez

Winter testing came to an end in Jerez with a productive day for the NGM Forward Racing Team. Simone Corsi focused on the set up of his Forward KLX, recording his best time of 1’42.822, finishing in the top ten of the combined classification of the three days of testing. Simone leaves Jerez confident for the opening round of the Championship.

It was a hard day of work also for Mattia Pasini, who tested some new solutions in preparation of the season. Mattia finished in 18th position, recording his best time of 1’43.189.

After a long winter testing period, the season is now ready to begin. The Qatar GP first practice session will begin on March 20th, with the race taking place on Sunday 23.

Simone Corsi:

“It was a very important test session. I could improve my feeling with the bike, although I expected to chip some more few tenths off to my lap times and close in the top 5. We did some step forward with the bike set up, so I’m confident for the first race. The gap with the front riders is not too big and we are all very close”.

Mattia Pasini:

“I’m satisfied of the work done in these three days. I didn’t focus on the single lap but on the set up in preparation of the race. We haven’t done so many kilometres, so we preferred to work to have a consistent pace and to test several solutions on the machine. I really look forward to Qatar GP”.




More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

MotoGP™ Official Moto2 & Moto3 Test

Jerez de la Frontera, Thursday, 13 March

Nakagami and Miller lead final test for Moto2™ and Moto3™

Japanese hotshot tops intermediate class timesheets for third day running while Australian hopeful continues to set the pace amongst the lightweight ranks

Japan's Takaaki Nakagami completed a clean sweep of the final Moto2™ pre-season test as the action came to a close in Jerez on Thursday.

Nakagami, who has topped all three days, reduced his previous best lap time by three tenths of a second to 1’42.206. The Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider was just under two tenths quicker than the second Kalex of Dynavolt Intact GP’s Sandro Cortese, but was unable to complete a long run as he experienced problems under braking and ‘strange’ feelings with his new fuel tank.

It was Suters third and fourth courtesy of Tom Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), although the former decided against a race simulation as he continued to feel the effects of a crash on the second day. AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing ended the day inside the top five, with Johann Zarco trailing quickest man Nakagami by four tenths of a second.

The second half of the top ten consisted of Luis Salom (Pons HP 40), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Gresini Moto2), Alex de Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag CarXpert) and Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing), as Corsi and team-mate Mattia Pasini looked to put in reduced race simulation runs of 15 laps apiece. Possible title candidates Maverick Viñales and Jones Folger just missed out on the top ten for their respective Pons HP 40 and Argiñano & Gines Racing teams, while Sam Lowes ended his impressive week 14th quickest for Speed Up; incidentally, the Englishman was battling through the pain of a swollen tendon.

With reigning champion Pol Espargaro having stepped up to MotoGP™, the battle for the vacant Moto2™ crown will commence as the teams and riders head to Doha ahead of next weekend’s season-opening Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar.

Jack Miller again set the pace as the curtain came down on Moto3™ pre-season testing in Jerez on Thursday. Although his lap time may not have been as quick as the one he posted on Wednesday, with Miller this time managing a best effort of 1’46.326, he topped the timesheets once again to end the pre-season in confident mood. The times were tight, however, with the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider only 33 thousandths of a second quicker than the new Honda of Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Marquez. The Ajo form was confirmed by Miller’s team-mate Karel Hanika, who rounded out the top three.

Jakub Kornfeil concluded a strong week in fourth for Calvo Team, while Saxoprint-RTG pairing Efren Vazquez and John McPhee both rose up into the top six. However, of those in the top ten – which was finalised by Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo), Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team by VR46), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) – all posted their quickest times of the day in either the first or second segments; in the afternoon, the majority decided to concentrate on race simulations and for that reason there were fewer fast laps.

Further down the timesheet, Isaac Viñales ended Day 3 in a slightly lower-key 11th for Calvo Team, while Niccolo Antonelli was 14th for Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3, having performed so well at the earlier pre-season gathering in Valencia. His team-mate Enea Bastianini was 25th, while the 33-rider field was completed by Hafiza Rofa who was standing in at SIC-Ajo for recovering Malaysian compatriot Hafiq Azmi.

Last year’s Moto3™ title battle went down to the final corner of the final race in Valencia. All contenders are now looking to start 2014 in the best possible fashion with a race victory in next weekend’s Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar.


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

West gets good feeling and aims at Top Ten in Qatar – Ramos keeps improving but needs more time

QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West ended the third and last pre-season test for the new Moto2 World Championship with a good feeling from his latest Speed Up prototype and is confident about his chances to break into the Top Ten at the season-opening race at Qatar.

Small, but important changes to the chassis of the Speed Up made all the difference for the 32-year-old Australian, who can now ride significantly faster without taking near as many risks as before. Whereas lighting-fast one-off lap times were not on the agenda for the final three days of preparation for the new season – West settled for 19th place with a gap of 1.005 seconds to Takaaki Nakagami on the top of the time sheets – it was consistency and ease of riding that West and his team were focussed on and what boosted their confidence one week prior to the home race of QMMF Racing Team.

West’s team-mate Román Ramos can’t wait for his first full Moto2 Grand Prix season to start. The 23-year-old Spaniard is especially excited about the night-race experience that is awaiting him at Qatar on Sunday, March 23rd, but at the same time, he is trying to limit his own expectations. Even though Ramos keeps improving every time he takes to the track, he still needs more time to close the gap to the top contenders of the hard-fought Moto2 category.

Anthony West – 19th in 1.43,211

“On the first two days, we were having the same problem, we didn’t have enough grip and the bike was unstable and not easy to turn in the corners. But now, after the last day, I feel much happier, because we sorted the bike and found grip and stability. I am now 0.8 seconds faster than when I was during the race last year, which is good. My one-off lap time is still not really fast, but we were here to test and what we achieved is good for the race. Every time I go out, I can match the same time quite easily and this time is a lot faster than I have ever been here in Jerez, so I think we are quite strong. Last year, I was on the limit and quite slow at the same time, it felt that I was going to crash every lap. Now, the lap times are much faster and I still feel safer going at that speed. We are definitely on a good way. Speed-Up made some changes that I have been asking for and I think this is what we’ve got the consistency from. I am happy that the changes worked, because I have been pushing a lot for this. My expectation for the race at Qatar is a top ten position, which is where we should be at every race. For qualifying, I am not looking to be on the front row. We have been working on race pace, we’ve learned how to go faster every lap, not jut one fast lap. I am happy that we achieved that and I am quite confident!”

Roman Ramos – 27th in 1.44,099

“We had three positive days of testing. We improved every time that we went out on the track and even though we are a little behind in comparison to the others, we worked well. All we need to do is to continue in this line and we will be more and more competitive. It’s not easy in this class, everybody is really strong and it’s a real challenge. I think that within two, three races, we will be battling for the positions that we deserve. But I don’t expect too much from the first race at Qatar. It is my first race of my first full world championship season and it will be difficult. But I can’t wait to go there and to experience the night race under floodlights. It’s great to have this opportunity and I am grateful to QMMF Racing Team for giving me a chance!”




More, from a press release issued by Tech 3:

Tech3’s Schrotter and Cardus complete final pre-season as Qatar nears

Tech3 Racing Team’s Marcel Schrotter and stand in rider Ricky Cardus today concluded the final pre-season test at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain, with just over a week until the start of the Moto2 World Championship. After various developments and improvements were made during the winter by the Tech3 Racing Team to enhance the Mistral 610, the team took advantage of three days of near perfect weather conditions to make the final preparations before the beginning of the season.

Marcel Schrotter concluded his last preseason test with a general feeling of positivity and optimism for the 2014 Moto2 World Championship. The young German worked tirelessly to establish his base set up and then undertook slight modification changes, in particular on the front section of his bike to improve brake stability and turning. Schrotter had an unfortunate crash in the afternoon which forced him to run into the gravel. However, he was uninjured and the bike was not majorly damaged. With his confidence and experience increasing consistently, the young German and his Tech3 Racing Team finished the session with a best lap 1:43.149 in 16th position.

Young Spanish rider Ricky Cardus began his adaptation to the Mistral 610 at Jerez this week, in preparation for the opening Moto2 race at Qatar. Cardus is temporarily replacing the injured Alex Mariñelarena who is recovering from an injury sustained at a private test at the end of February. Having never ridden the Tech 3 Racing Team bike before, the Spaniard proceeded to undertake a shake-down initially, having not raced a Moto2 motorcycle since the last season’s final round at Valencia. On the following days, his knowledge of the Mistral 610 grew, as his confidence did. At the close of the test, Cardus finished the session in 26th place with a best time of 1:44.029.

Marcel Schrotter – 1:43.159 – 16th:

“I am quite happy with the work we have done over the past three days as we managed to test a lot of settings to make the bike more comfortable over race distance. We focused mainly on the front section of the Mistral, trying to improve the braking and turning. A big positive that I can take home is that all of the fastest laps were on old tyres, which gives me confidence in race distance. I feel there is still some improvement to be made with how the bike reacts on new tyres, but this was never the main aim at this test. I am looking forward to Qatar and feel confident of fighting for top 10 finishes and having a good season this year”.

Ricky Cardus – 1:44.029 – 26th:

“First of all, I want to say thank you to the team for the opportunity and the faith they placed in me to test their bike. Of course, it’s not the way I’d like to get on the bike, and I really hope Alex recovers quickly. In all honesty, the test went well and was a really good experience. At first, after 3 months of not riding, I struggled to adapt straight away. I saw how far back I was and became slightly nervous. However, with more time on the bike I improved and felt better every day. My fastest lap could have been quicker but unfortunately I made a mistake in it. The lap time was not the most important part of this test for me, as I needed to prepare myself as much as possible for the first race, which I am really looking forward to”.

Herve Poncharal – Tech3 Manager :

“Overall, it was a good test. We have been lucky with the weather and had three days of great track action which helped us to prepare for the first race. We cannot say anything about the Moto2 test without mentioning Alex. We miss him a lot. Last time here he was very fast and very confident of improving. His condition is getting better every day and we all hope to have him back with us very soon. Marcel did a really good job and a lot of laps. He tried many settings and focused on the race pace. I have to thank him for his dedication, hard work and his feedback, I am sure he is ready to race in Qatar. I also want to thank Ricky Cardus. He jumped on the bike having not ridden all winter. His final time was the quickest lap time he has ever completed around Jerez. Ricky has ridden many other brands so it was interesting to hear his comments which will help us to improve. Finally, the long testing period is over, and just like everyone else we are very excited to go to Qatar. Now, let the show begin and get the championship underway”.




More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

SIMEON AND BALDASSARRI COMPLETE WINTER TESTING WITH STUNNING PERFORMANCE

The long pre-season testing period came to a close today for the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: in the last day of the official IRTA Test at Jerez, Xavier Siméon scored a stunning fourth fastest time with 1’42”556, just three tenths of a second off the best lap time of the three-day gathering. After the good consistency showed yesterday over full race distance, today the Belgian rider proved to be really competitive also on a single lap, as a further demonstration of the excellent work done with the team.

Aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine, Lorenzo Baldassari closed his amazing apprenticeship lowering once again his lap times, finishing the three-day test with the seventh overall performance, 1’42”639, making him once again the fastest Italian rider on track. The 17-year-old rookie is therefore ready for his first race in Moto2, a category that seemed to suit his physical and riding style characteristics from the very beginning.

XAVIER SIMEON (1'42"556 - 47 LAPS)

“We finished the pre-season in an extremely positive way! Today we were able to take a further step forward, but it could not be otherwise, because we knew from yesterday that we were starting from a good base. Apart from the excellent lap time, just a few tenths off the pace, now we are aware that our potential is very high, so we are confident ahead of the first Grand Prix. We haven’t started winter testing in the best way, with the untimely Almeria crash, which slowed our working program, but later on we were able to improve constantly. Now I feel very comfortable with the bike, and the atmosphere inside the garage is wonderful”.

LORENZO BALDASSARRI (1'42"639 - 50 LAPS)

“I am very satisfied with the work done during the winter: I could adapt well to this category and I have reached a good level of competitiveness, so I look forward to my Moto2 debut with great confidence. The feeling with the bike is good and we were fast also today, therefore I’m convinced that in Qatar we can do very well, although I don’t want to make predictions”.

FAUSTO GRESINI

“I am very satisfied: first of all, I would like to congratulate our riders and all the guys in the garage, who worked hard during the winter. Both Siméon and Baldassarri surprised me, closing this final day of testing with excellent lap times. I had no doubts about Xavier’s talent, who is proving to be extremely competitive, while Baldassarri was a kind of a gamble: I’ve believed in him from the beginning, and his performance is proving that I was right”.