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Feb 13, 2014

Vinales Tops Final Day, Rabat Fastest Overall, Herrin Jumps To 18th As Moto2 Testing Ends At Valencia

Josh Herrin (2).

FIM Moto2 World Championship/IRTA Test

Valencia, Spain

February 13, 2014

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

1. Maverick Vinales, Spain (KALEX), 1:35.302

2. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (KALEX), 1:35.337

3. Thomas Luthi, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:35.422

4. Esteve Rabat, Spain (KALEX), 1:35.557

5. Sandro Cortese, Germany (KALEX), 1:35.564

6. Jordi Torres, Spain (SUTER), 1:35.643

7. Julian Simon, Spain (KALEX), 1:35.725

8. Nico Terol, Spain (SUTER), 1:35.779

9. Mika Kallio, Finland (KALEX), 1:35.821

10.  Luis Salom, Spain (KALEX), 1:35.844

11. Alex De Angelis, San Marino (SUTER), 1:36.041

12. Sam Lowes, UK (SPEED UP), 1:36.082

13.  Axel Pons, Spain (KALEX), 1:36.335

14. Dominique Aegerter, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:36.384

15. Johann Zarco, France (CATERHAM SUTER), 1:36.407

16. Jonas Folger, Germany (KALEX), 1:36.453

17. Josh Herrin, USA (CATERHAM SUTER), 1:36.566

18. Marcel Schrotter, Germany (TECH 3), 1:36.684

19. Anthony West, Australia (SPEED UP), 1:36.764

20. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (KALEX), 1:36.785

21. Louis Rossi, France (KALEX), 1:36.852

22. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KALEX), 1:36.886

23. Lorenzo Baldassarri, Italy (SUTER), 1:36.926

24. Alex Marinelarena, Spain (TECH 3), 1:37.015

25. Roman Ramos, Spain (SPEED UP), 1:37.067

26. Gino Rea, UK (SUTER), 1:37.192

27. Azlan Shah, Malaysia (KALEX), 1:37.213

28. Randy Krummenacher, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:37.314

29. Thitipong Warokorn, Thailand (KALEX), 1:37.867

30. Robin Mulhauser, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:37.878

31. Tetsuta Nagashima, Japan (MOTOBI), 1:38.915



Best Overall Test Times:

1. Esteve Rabat, Spain (KALEX), 1:35.155

2. Maverick Vinales, Spain (KALEX), 1:35.302

3. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (KALEX), 1:35.337

4. Thomas Luthi, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:35.422

5. Sandro Cortese, Germany (KALEX), 1:35.564

6. Jordi Torres, Spain (SUTER), 1:35.643

7. Mika Kallio, Finland (KALEX), 1:35.690

8. Nico Terol, Spain (SUTER), 1:35.715

9. Julian Simon, Spain (KALEX), 1:35.725

10. Luis Salom, Spain (KALEX), 1:35.844

11. Alex De Angelis, San Marino (SUTER), 1:36.033

12. Sam Lowes, UK (SPEED UP), 1:36.082

13. Johann Zarco, France (CATERHAM SUTER), 1:36.222

14. Axel Pons, Spain (KALEX), 1:36.335

15. Dominique Aegerter, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:36.384

16. Jonas Folger, Germany (KALEX), 1:36.439

17. Anthony West, Australia (SPEED UP), 1:36.534

18. Josh Herrin, USA (CATERHAM SUTER), 1:36.566

19. Marcel Schrotter, Germany (TECH 3), 1:36.684

20.  Franco Morbidelli, Italy (KALEX), 1:36.785

21. Louis Rossi, France (KALEX), 1:36.852

22. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KALEX), 1:36.886

23. Lorenzo Baldassarri, Italy (SUTER), 1:36.926

24. Azlan Shah, Malaysia (KALEX), 1:36.955

25. Alex Marinelarena, Spain (TECH 3), 1:37.015

26. Roman Ramos, Spain (SPEED UP), 1:37.067

27. Gino Rea, UK (SUTER), 1:37.141

28. Randy Krummenacher, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:37.151

29. Thitipong Warokorn, Thailand (KALEX), 1:37.867

30. Robin Mulhauser, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:37.878

31. Tetsuta Nagashima, Japan (MOTOBI), 1:38.915



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

Marc VDS get 2014 off to a flying start at Valencia

Valencia, Spain – 13 Feb 2014: The Marc VDS Racing Team got their 2014 Moto2 campaign off to a flying start at the opening test of the season in Valencia. Tito Rabat dipped under the outright circuit record to top the timesheet, while Mika Kallio ended the three-day test seventh on combined times.

An unseasonably cold Valencia welcomed the riders on the opening day of the test, with strong winds making conditions on track less than ideal for testing. Undeterred after a winter spent at home in Finland, it was Kallio who conquered the cold to post the fastest lap on day one. Rabat, while not a fan of the cold or the wind, still ended the day eighth on the timesheet.

Both Marc VDS Moto2 riders took advantage of the much-improved conditions on the second day, with Rabat setting a blistering pace in the final timed session. The 24-year-old Spaniard’s lap time of 1’35.155s was the fastest of the day, almost 0.4s quicker than second placed Tom Lüthi. The return of the wind on the final day meant that nobody, including Rabat, was able to improve on this time.

Moto3 rider, Livio Loi, made significant progress over the course of the three-day test, eventually finishing 11th on combined times and within one second of the fastest time of the test, set by Niccolò Antonelli.

The Marc VDS Racing Team depart Valencia this evening, destination Jerez, where the second three-day test of the 2014 season will take place from 18-20 February.

Tito Rabat: 1st - 1’35.155

“I’m very happy for the feeling with the bike and with the team during these three days in Valencia. We worked very well, trying many different things on the bike - suspension, swinging arm and fairings – and we learnt a lot. We made improvements to the bike and also found a good rhythm during our race simulation today. Now we need to head down to Jerez to confirm everything at a different track, under different conditions and, hopefully, make one step more.”

Mika Kallio: 7th – 1’35.690

“Overall I’m quite satisfied, mainly for the progress made over the first two days. I was fastest on day one, but slipped to third on day two. The plan for today was to try to make a few fast lap times, to close the gap to the top, but the feeling with the soft tyre wasn’t so good and I couldn’t take advantage of the additional grip. Rather than chase a time, we decided instead to work on a solution to the problem I had at the race here last year, when my rear tyre was almost completely destroyed. Over the race simulation today they was a significant improvement in both the grip and the endurance of the rear tyre, which was positive, but we need to confirm this and a number of other things at Jerez next week.”

Livio Loi: 11th – 1’40.394

“After some of the issues I had last year with my feeling on the bike, here we’ve focussed on testing different settings to find the best base set up. My feeling has improved and this can be seen in the lap times, as well as the reduced gap to the front-runners. Today was also very important; in the past I’ve had problems when it’s been windy, but today I was able to maintain the same gap to the front despite the wind, which is a big step forward. Now we head to Jerez, where the goal is to make another step.”



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

Caterham Moto Racing Conclude Test at Valencia

Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana, 13th February 2014

Circuit Length: 4.005km

Bike # 5 – Johann Zarco P13 – best time – 1:36.222

Bike # 2 – Josh Herrin P18 – best time – 1:36.566

Weather: air temperature 24°c (dry) / track temperature 30°C max

The final day of the first official Moto2 test at Valencia concluded a positive start for the all new Caterham Moto Racing team.

With an overall aim of learning as much as possible from the Caterham Suter and allowing their riders time to adapt to the new machines, the team increased their knowledge of the bike and gained invaluable time on track to evaluate and develop new settings. As a result they completed the three day test schedule feeling pleased with their progress and ready for Jerez next week.

Initially focussing on set up and getting a feel for his #2 bike, reigning AMA Superbike Champion Josh Herrin finished the day with an impressive personal best lap time of 1:36.566, just 1.411 off the quickest time of the week.

Meanwhile Johann Zarco used his final day at Valencia to concentrate on developing suspension settings and providing feedback for improved performance.

Johann Zarco: “We didn’t improve the lap time today but we are still working to set-up the bike. I have to accept that we must wait a little longer to get quicker as it is important to get the right information and an understanding of the new Caterham Suter first.

“Jerez is not my favourite track but I have a good team and I know that we will work well to achieve our goals there.”

Josh Herrin: “Today we made a lot of changes to the position I am in on the bike as well as some clutch settings. I was able to achieve my goal which was to get into the 1:36’s.

“I am excited to go to Jerez because we have already tested there so we will be able to focus more on bike set up and lap times.”

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager: “I am happy to end this first official test having learned a lot and gained enough information to hopefully send us in the right direction. Right now we don’t need to be too focussed on where we are in the standings, although it is important, we must work systematically and do a good job to improve the bike for our riders first.

“At the moment we are not at the maximum, we still have more to give and we will continue to work on this in Jerez. We are a new team, this is our first year in Moto2 and so we must be patient. Every time we are out there we are learning, and these tests are so important for that.

“To come here and have done this in such a short time, to see all the guys so motivated is a privilege. I just want to thank the team, the riders and everyone from Caterham back at Leafield who have supported us in getting here and I hope that we can reward them this year with good results.” 



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

QMMF Racing Team riders West and Ramos start new Moto2 season with promising tests at Valencia

QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West and his new team-mate Román Ramos opened the new Moto2 World Championship season with a successful three-day-test at Valencia. 32-year-old West, who scored podium finishes in 2012 and who is determined to battle his way back to the top of the category in the new season, tested the latest version of his Speed Up prototype with an Öhlins suspension system for the very first time and came to promising results, especially with the feeling for the front end of his bike.

23-year-old Ramos from the Spanish town of Santa María de Cayón took the three days as an opportunity to get accustomed to his new bike and to a whole new environment. Ramos rode his first Moto2 races back in 2010, but only joined the World Championship with occasional wild card entries. He successfully competed in last year’s Spanish Moto2 Championship to confront his first full Moto2 Grand Prix season in 2014.

Anthony West –17th in 1.36,534

“This is our first test with the new bike and it was very interesting and positive. I expected the bike to feel more strange, because it is so new and quite different to lsst year’s bike. But it felt quite comfortable to jump straight on and ride. Of course, since everything is new, we had to start from scratch with the settings. We changed to Öhlins suspension for this year, which created a few problems on the first day. There were a lot of things to work on, but at the end of the day, I started to feel comfortable. The main difference from last year’s bike is the feeling on the front, which is a little bit easier. The character of the bike is still the same and we still have a few issues with turning, but the feeling for the front, which was always difficult to get last year, has improved. I think it is a little bit more forgiving. At this stage, the lap times are not a true reflection of what is happening out there, because different teams use different engines. There are a lot of riders out there that are usually slower than me, but when we go to the straights, they would just pull away from me. Another funny thing was that, we got a letter to say that everybody should use the tyres that were allocated from Dunlop. That means there were some other teams that used special tyres that were not in this allocation. That’s another reason why you can’t trust what the times are. Only in the last test, we will get a better indication where everyone really stands!”

Roman Ramos – 26th in 1.37,067

“All in all, things went quite well. My lap times weren’t overwhelmingly good, but we managed to make progress and get quicker by a few fractions of a second every day. The atmosphere in the team is great, my technicians are very professional and are doing a fantastic job on the bike. As we get to know each other better and better, things will improve further. It was not an easy start, because I didn’t know the bike and the tyres, both were completely different to what I had in the Spanish Championship last year. Considering this, it was a very positive test. We have a lot data to analyze and to build on for the next test in Jerez and we tried many things that will help us in the future. It was important to get as many laps under my belt with the new bike and tyres as possible. There is still a lot of time left to push and to go for good lap times. I am really looking forward to the next test because I like the Jerez circuit a lot and I am confident that we will have a good set-up there. My goal is to improve, to be a bit more in the middle of things and to get more accustomed to everything. In the past, I had occasional wild card entries in the Moto2 world championship, but they were always on different bikes, so things were complicated. It’s never easy to adapt to a new bike and a whole new environment in only one weekend. What I noticed over these three days is how fast everybody is going in this class and how well prepared all the riders are. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me because I watched all the Moto2 races with keen interest and I noticed even in television how quick the pace is. At the moment, I am losing a few meters in every corner, which at the end adds up to one and a half seconds per lap. My first aim is to reduce the gap to one second, but I’m well aware that this last second to the top will be the most difficult one. But we will work hard and I will give everything to get as close as possible to the top in the shortest possible time!"



More, from a press release issued by MAPFRE Aspar Moto2 Team:

TORRES AND TEROL COMPLETE POSITIVE VALENCIA TEST

MAPFRE Aspar riders keep up consistent pace and gather plenty of data from multitude of laps

Despite weather conditions improving in terms of temperatures, a strong wind at the Valencia circuit did not allow the Moto2 riders to go faster on Thursday than on Wednesday. The times were speedy, however, and as close as ever in the intermediate class. Again there was a change of top rider, as Maverick Viñales followed in the footsteps of Mika Kallio –Tuesday’s fastest man- and Esteve Rabat –quickest on Wednesday. The difference was small, and the Moto2 field will be as packed as ever when it heads to Jerez next week, for the next round of three testing days.

Besides the times, the MAPFRE Aspar riders were using the Valencia test to gather a wealth of data. Jordi Torres and Nico Terol put in an enormous amount of laps for the third consecutive day, finishing off the test with their homework well and truly done. The MAPFRE Aspar duo were amongst the most consistent in the class, always amongst the frontrunners with their steady pace. Jordi Torres eventually set a best time of 1’35.643, whilst Nico Terol’s top lap was a 1’35.779.

6th Jordi Torres 1.35.643 (84 laps): "We worked hard over these three days, and our goal was to gather as much information as possible. It's our second full season in the World Championship, so we are still in need of a lot of data. The new chassis will allow me to be very precise when entering corners, we are happy with it and it's pretty similar to last year’s frame. It turns in a lot, but we still need a little bit more at full lean. Something very positive is that we have found a lot of grip when exiting corners. Besides putting in many laps during the test, we were always up there in terms of pace, so I'm happy overall and I hope to continue like this at Jerez."

8th Nico Terol 1.35.779 (70 laps): "Work, work and more work. That is how I would sum up this test. We have put in a lot of laps over the three days. We have worked to bring the new chassis up to speed, mostly. Much progress has been made but I did not get the feeling that I wanted, still. I lack some confidence with the front, which for me is very important because I use it a lot in my riding style. After trying out a lot of things, by the end of today I found a pace in the high 1’35s. I know we have room for improvement, so I'm calm about how this test in Valencia went. I'm happy because we worked very well, although it is true that I would have liked things to have worked with a little more fluidity."



More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

THREE DAYS OF CONSTANT IMPROVEMENTS FOR BALDASSARRI AT VALENCIA

The Team Gresini Moto2 and Lorenzo Baldassarri ended today the official Moto2 test at Valencia: over the three days spent at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo the young Italian Moto2 rookie was able to complete a total of over 200 laps, constantly lowering his lap times and taking a very important step forward in understanding the Suter machine he will use in the forthcoming season. At the end of the test Baldassarri resulted 23rd among the 31 riders testing on track, with a best time of 1’36”926.

The next meeting is now scheduled for February 18th at Jerez, for another three days of testing: in addition to Baldassarri, next week Xavier Siméon will also be back on track aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Suter.

LORENZO BALDASSARRI (1'36"926 - 66 LAPS)

“Like in the first two days, the work we did today was crucial to understand the behavior of the bike: doing many laps is so important because at every session I can understand some more aspects in which I can improve. The next tests are scheduled in Jerez, a track where last November I have already had the opportunity to try the Moto2: I will have more references and therefore it will be interesting to see what level I reached. It’s an excellent opportunity to continue the great work that we are doing”.

FABRIZIO CECCHINI (Technical Coordinator)

“Baldassarri is showing a steady improvement, working without pressure, and his performances over the three days in Valencia proves it. Lorenzo is very good at giving to the technicians useful information with regard to his feelings on the bike, a quality that is unusual for a boy that is just 17: for this reason I am convinced that in the next test we can make a further improvement”.



More, from a press release issued by Tech 3:

Positive beginnings for Tech3’s Schrotter and Mariñelarena at first Moto2 test

Tech 3’s Marcel Schrotter and Álex Mariñelarena today completed the first of three pre-season tests at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana in positive spirits, in preparation for the 2014 Moto2 World Championship.

The all new rider line up tested the Tech3 Racing Team’s exclusively self-designed and engineered Mistral 610 and eased back into the racing after a lengthy off season. Additionally, both riders explored different set ups, and became accustomed to the new 2014 spec Moto2 bikes.

Although the weather in Valencia did not initially provide ideal conditions for the Moto2 riders on the opening day with cold winds chilling track temperatures, Wednesday and Thursday were warmer and supplied the Moto2 riders with good conditions for the opening test.

Marcel Schrotter joins the Tech3 Racing Team having already spent several years in different classes in the World Championship. The German rider began the test by familiarizing himself with the Mistral 610, before exploring set-ups which would suit his riding style. Working relentlessly with his new team, Schrotter pushed forward and set encouraging lap times, despite a minor crash on Tuesday afternoon. This incident did not lower his confidence, and he proceeded to better his lap time to 1:36.684 which was one and a half seconds quicker than his initial time set on Tuesday. The Bavarian rider finished the testing session in 19th.

Álex Mariñelarena continued his learning experience of the Mistral 610 at Valencia as he begins his first, full time campaign with the Tech3 Racing Team this year. The young Spaniard’s time on track was restricted due to an early fall in the Tuesday session. He was uninjured but consequently lost track time due to repairs. However, the former CEV Buckler race winner regained his confidence and continued to push onward during the following days, and lowered his lap times. Mariñelarena finished the test with a best time of 1:37.015, having amassed 25 laps on the final day. His final placing was 25th.

Preparations for the season opener at the Losail Circuit in Qatar on the 23rd with Tech3 Racing Team’s Moto2 riders aiming to optimize the testing time before the season begins. The next testing session will commence on the 18th of February at the Circuito De Jerez, Spain.

Marcel Schrotter – 19th – 1:36.684:

“I am happy with how the test went. There were a few issues yesterday and this morning, with the bike suffering from chatter. This was unfortunate as the team and I were unable to work through our test schedule which we planned. Once this was solved, I had a good feeling with the bike and improved quickly. There are still six days of testing left, and I am confident that I will be prepared and be closer to the front as Qatar approaches."

Álex Mariñelarena - 25th – 1:37.015:

“Overall, I am quite happy. I was disappointed to have crashed on the first day, which meant that we lost the whole day of testing. On the second day, the team had to change the engine, which meant that we lost even more time. However, once everything was repaired on Wednesday afternoon, I was happy with how the bike felt and was also pleased with some of the other improvements the team made. I am feeling really confident and am looking forward to Jerez. I want say a big thanks to my Tech3 Racing Team for all of their work this week as well.”