Nicolas Terol raised the Aspar team’s hopes of an improved 2013 campaign by topping the timesheets on day one of the Valencia pre-season Moto2 test. The local favourite finished 2012 on a high with his first podium in the intermediate class and seems to have carried that form into the winter, edging out former 125cc rivals Julian Simon and Pol Espargaro.
The opening test of 2013 is particularly important for the Moto2 class due to the new rules imposed for the upcoming season. Following concerns in the paddock that lighter riders were gaining an unfair advantage in a class which features control engines and control tyres, the FIM have brought in a 215kg minimum weight for rider and bike combined and today was the first opportunity for the teams to test out the new configuration, although some will be affected less than others.
Terol certainly appeared at home on his Suter which boasted a number of updates to its 2012-spec, completing all three sessions over the course of the day in the top three, including a 1:35.926 in session two which would prove to be the fastest overall. Simon was a fine second despite his lack of experience on the Italtrans Kalex while Espargaro, who will start the season as title favourite, ended the day in third overall after topping the final session.
Scott Redding will be leading the pack intent on denying Espargaro, especially now the rules accommodate his taller frame. The Briton was fourth ahead of Takaaki Nakagami with Simone Corsi sixth following his switch to Forward Racing. Jordi Torres was seventh for Aspar with two more title hopefuls, Esteve Rabat and Thomas Luthi close behind. Toni Elias completed the top ten for Blusens Avintia, giving the former champion hope that this latest change of scenery may revitalise his career.
Elias will have a new teammate in the form of Britain’s Kyle Smith who joins the Grand Prix paddock after finishing runner-up in the CEV Buckler Stock Extreme Championship in Spain last year. The Huddersfield rider was 27th today, one place ahead of compatriot Danny Kent on Tech 3’s Mistral 610. The honour of top rookie on day one was unsurprisingly taken by Moto3 champion Sandro Cortese although he was only 24th himself.
|Moto2 Valencia Test: Combined Classification – Tuesday 12th February|
|1||18. Nicolas Terol||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||1:35.926|
|2||60. Julian Simon||Italtrans Racing Team||1:35.951|
|3||40. Pol Espargaro||Tuenti HP 40||1:36.106|
|4||45. Scott Redding||Marc VDS Racing Team||1:36.337|
|5||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Italtrans Racing Team||1:36.443|
|6||3. Simone Corsi||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1:36.444|
|7||81. Jordi Torres||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||1:36.457|
|8||80. Esteve Rabat||Tuenti HP 40||1:36.531|
|9||12. Thomas Luthi||Interwetten Paddock||1:36.629|
|10||24. Toni Elias||Blusens Avintia||1:36.852|
|11||15. Alex De Angelis||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1:37.074|
|12||36. Mika Kallio||Marc VDS Racing Team||1:37.238|
|13||19. Xavier Simeon||Maptaq SAG Zelos Team||1:37.339|
|14||77. Dominique Aegerter||Technomag carXpert||1:37.354|
|15||49. Axel Pons||Tuenti HP 40||1:37.531|
|16||54. Mattia Pasini||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1:37.679|
|17||95. Anthony West||QMMF Racing Team||1:37.801|
|18||63. Mike Di Meglio||JIR Moto2||1:37.922|
|19||5. Johann Zarco||Came IodaRacing Project||1:38.140|
|20||88. Ricard Cardus||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1:38.329|
|21||23. Marcel Schrotter||Desguaces La Torre SAG Team||1:38.391|
|22||4. Randy Krummenacher||Technomag carXpert||1:38.516|
|23||14. Ratthapark Wilairot||Thai Honda Gresini Moto2||1:38.695|
|24||11. Sandro Cortese||Dynavolt Intact GP||1:38.722|
|25||96. Louis Rossi||Tech 3 Racing||1:38.726|
|26||72. Yuki Takahashi||Honda Racing Asia Tady||1:38.926|
|27||9. Kyle Smith||Blusens Avintia||1:39.076|
|28||52. Danny Kent||Tech 3 Racing||1:39.184|
|29||7. Doni Tata Pradita||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||1:39.663|
|30||97. Rafid Topan Sucipto||QMMF Racing Team||1:41.431|