2012 Valencia Moto3 Testing
The first official Moto3 tests of 2012 wrapped up Friday at Valencia, with Sandro Cortese topping all three days aboard the factory Red Bull Ajo KTM.
The German is already a favorite for the new class that will utilize a four-stroke 250cc engine; during the 2011 125cc season, Cortese took six podiums, which included two wins.
And as the days progressed, so did the German Cortese’s times; his best lap time of 42 laps aboard the KTM was a 1:40.9.
Sandro Cortese (KTM Moto3) says: “I had a very good feeling right from the first day to the end of tests and we improved a lot as we get the bike ready for the season. With KTM as the factory team we have a lot of support and I think I am in a better position than in previous years.
While Cortese was dominating aboard the factory KTM, his teammate Arthur Sissis of Australia finished 13th with a lap time of 1:43.1 (50 laps), and the Brit Danny Kent finished fourth with a 1:42.1 (56 laps). Besides the three KTM factory pilots, four other riders performed well aboard the Kalex-KTM machines, all finishing in the top ten in a field of 33 Moto3 riders.
Aki Ajo (Team Manager of the Red Bull KTM Ajo) says: “Now we have had five full days of tests and we have had no technical problems. That is the most important. But we must remember that we are in the early states of our preparation. All the teams are just beginning and we will really have a better idea of where we stand after a month.”
Alex Baumgärtel (constructor of the K KALEX-KTM bikes) says: “All our riders managed to improve their times over the three days and we were without any technical problems. We can say we’re in the ballpark. It’s been very positive for us.”
While weather for the first two days of tests was very cold, Friday was kinder for the teams. Cortese managed to put in a lap time fourth tenths faster than his best on Thursday to come away satisfied with his final day. Alberto Moncayo (KALEX-KTM) and Luis Salom (KALEX-KTM) all reported a time of 1’41.2 to be third and fifth on the unofficial time list on Friday. Niklas Ajo (KTM), Hector Faubel (KALEX-KTM) were placed sixth and seventh, Zulfahmi Khairuddin (KTM) and Brad Binder (KALEX-KTM) were ninth and tenth.
The next Moto3 testing will begin next week in Jerez, Spain, where the Andalusian track will host three test days (Thursday, Friday and Saturday).
Valencia Moto3 Lap Times (unofficial, recorded by teams):
1. Sandro Cortese, Germany Red Bull KTM Ajo, 1’40.9 (41 laps)
2. Maverick Vinales, Avintia Racing, 1’41.0 (66 laps)
3. Albert Moncayo, Spain, Aspar Team KALEX-KTM, 1’41.2 (56 laps)
4. Danny Kent, Britain, Red Bull KTM Ajo, 1’41.2 (56 laps)
5. Luis Salom, Spain, RW Racing GP KALEX-KTM, 1’41.2 (28 laps)