Italtrans rider Claudio Corti was the surprise pacesetter in this week's three-day Moto2 pre-season test at Jerez. The Italian has never finished on a Grand Prix podium before but the Italtrans Racing squad having switched from Suter machinery to Kalex for the new season, he appears to have found the sweet spot with the new bike.
Corti was four thousandths of a second ahead of Thomas Luthi, who had set the pace on the opening two days, while Pol Espargaro and Mika Kallio ensured that Kalex accounted for three of the quickest four riders.
Undoubtedly, one of the headlines from the test was the return to action on last year's runner-up Marc Marquez. The Spaniard heads into the season as the title favourite but hasn't been able to test since suffering the injury which dashed his championship chances in Malaysia last year. After a private run at Albacete though, Marquez was back in action this week and showed no signs of rustiness, going fifth fastest.
With Stefan Bradl moving up to MotoGP, Andrea Iannone is one of the men expected to take the challenge to Marquez this season but the Italian has changed motorcycle for the new season, switching from Suter to Speed Up. The new machine showed encouraging pace though with Iannone finishing the week with the sixth fastest time.
Scott Redding is also getting to grips with a new chassis after Marc VDS' choice to run Kalex bikes in 2012. The Briton has shown well throughout the winter and his best lap on day two was good enough for seventh, although that day did also include a crash. The returning Toni Elias was eighth for Mapfre Aspar with the man who finished runner-up to him, Julian Simon, in ninth on the Avintia Racing FTR.
After his impressive debut season, Bradley Smith will have high hopes for the new season but testing hasn't gone smoothly for him. The Tech 3 rider used his third different chassis of the winter this week and did it no favours with a heavy crash this afternoon. Smith was a second off the pace in 14th but feels there is plenty to come from the Mistral 610.
Fellow Briton Gino Rea also had a fall during the afternoon session today as he prepares for his debut season with Gresini. The former World Supersport rider was 22nd overall with his best time coming on Tuesday and outpaced his teammate Ratthapark Wilairot despite the Thai rider having competed in 80 Grands Prix in his career.
Moto2 Pre-Season Test – Jerez (Combined Classification)
|1||Claudio Corti||ITA||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||1:41.983|
|2||Thomas Luthi||SWI||Suter||Interwetten-Paddock Moto2||1:41.987|
|3||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Pons Kalex||Pons Racing||1:42.149|
|4||Mika Kallio||FIN||Kalex||Marc VDS Racing Team||1:42.301|
|5||Marc Marquez||SPA||Suter||Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol||1:42.430|
|6||Andrea Iannone||ITA||Speed Up||Speed Master||1:42.534|
|7||Scott Redding||GBR||Kalex||Marc VDS Racing Team||1:42.638|
|8||Toni Elias||SPA||Suter||Aspar Team Moto2||1:42.670|
|9||Julian Simon||SPA||FTR||Avintia Racing||1:42.680|
|10||Alex De Angelis||RSM||Suter||Forward Racing||1:42.741|
|11||Takaaki Nakagami||JAP||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||1:42.825|
|12||Esteve Rabat||SPA||Pons Kalex||Pons Racing||1:42.908|
|13||Mike Di Meglio||FRA||FTR||Speed Up||1:42.948|
|14||Bradley Smith||GBR||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||1:42.978|
|16||Johann Zarco||FRA||Motobi||JIR Moto2||1:43.067|
|17||Nicolas Terol||SPA||Suter||Aspar Team Moto2||1:43.129|
|18||Yuki Takahashi||JAP||Suter||Forward Racing||1:43.191|
|19||Xavier Simeon||BEL||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||1:43.259|
|20||Angel Rodriguez||SPA||FTR||SAG Team||1:43.279|
|21||Simone Corsi||ITA||FTR||Ioda Racing Project||1:43.437|
|22||Gino Rea||GBR||Moriwaki||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||1:43.486|
|23||Axel Pons||SPA||Pons Kalex||Pons Racing||1:43.537|
|24||Max Neukirchner||GER||Kalex||Kiefer Racing||1:43.550|
|25||Ratthapark Wilairot||THA||Moriwaki||Thai Honda Gresini Moto2||1:43.621|
|27||Eric Granado||BRA||Motobi||JIR Moto2||1:44.338|
|28||Ricard Cardus||SPA||AJR||ArguiÃ±ano Racing Team||1:44.360|
|29||Randy Krummenacher||SWI||Suter||GP Team Switzerland||1:44.374|
|30||Marco Colandrea||ITA||FTR||SAG Team||1:44.445|
|31||Damian Cudlin||AUS||Moriwaki||QMMF Racing Team||1:44.827|
|32||Alexander Lundh||SWE||MZ-RE Honda||Cresto Guide MZ Racing||1:44.996|
|33||Elena Rosell||SPA||Moriwaki||QMMF Racing Team||1:46.471|