First Moto2 Test
The first official Moto2 and 125cc test of the year finished at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia on Wednesday, with Julián Simón and Marc Márquez the fastest riders in each respective category.
The first use of the official Honda engines which will be used in the inaugural Moto2 season in 2010 allowed the first true level of comparison to be drawn amongst the riders, and 125cc World Champion Julián Simón of the Mapfre Aspar team showed he is more than ready for the step up by setting the fastest time of the test with a lap of 1’37.156, set on Tuesday.The Spaniard was part of a group who put themselves forward as early favourites before the start of the season, amongst them former MotoGP riders Toni Elías, Yuki Takahashi and Alex de Angelis, along with a range of others.American rider Kenny Noyes (Jack&Jones by A. Banderas) also impressed, as he completed more kilometres than anyone at the Valencia track and found times and a race pace that are already very competitive, placing second fastest overall across the whole test at just over two-tenths of a second off Simón’s time.Elías (Gresini Racing) set the quickest time on the first day and was third overall as he stated his intentions for the season, and another rider to make an impact was Claudio Corti (Forward Racing). The Italian was consistently in and around the top times every time the riders took to the track and was fourth fastest of the test.Tech3 Racing rider Takahashi was fifth quickest as he maintained a presence in the top times throughout, and De Angelis (Scot Racing) – who only started work on Tuesday – improved his time in the late session on Wednesday to become the sixth and final rider to make it under the 1’38" mark.Vladimir Ivanov (Gresini Racing) was another rider to do well, despite two crashes in the first two days and he was seventh fastest overall, and did not ride on Friday. Other riders leaving the test on a positive note include Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Racing), Yonny Hérnandez (Blusens-STX) and Fonsi Nieto (G22 HolidayGym) who completed the top-ten overall times.In the 125cc category, Marc Márquez (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) was the fastest of the test with a lap time of 1’40.280, well over a full second quicker than Simón’s pole position time from last year’s GP. Bainet Derbi duo Efrén Vázquez and Pol Espargaró were second and third fastest respectively, with Bancaja Aspar rider Bradley Smith the fourth and final rider to come in under the 1’41" mark. The British rider’s team-mate Nicolas Terol completed the top five times, with Johann Zarco (WTR San Marino Team), Sandro Cortese (Avant Intact Ajo Motorsport), Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia Cajasol) and Marcel Schrötter (Interwetten Racing) all registering top ten times.The riders will return to action for the second official Moto2/125cc test at Jerez, scheduled for March 6-8.