Espargaro Ends Final Pre-Season Test On Top


Pol Espargaro underlined his status as Moto2 championship favourite by topping the final day of pre-season testing at Jerez. The Spaniard was fastest in the limited running to take place on the final day and although the lap times were down on Wednesday, he still finished comfortably quickest over the entire week.

Despite the track not being in its best condition, Espargaro got down to a 1:43.355 in the two hours of track time, leaving him three tenths clear of his Pons teammate Esteve Rabat. Like Espargaro though, Rabat came some way short of his personal best for the week with his quickest time being set on the very best day.

The Mapfre Aspar duo of Jordi Torres and Nicolas Terol finished Thursday third and fourth, matching Rabat’s time, with Simone Corsi the first man to set his fastest time on the final day. That earned the Forward Racing rider fifth on the day but the stronger pace from others earlier in the week left him fourteenth overall.

Johann Zarco also saved his best for last to take sixth, fifteenth in the combined classification, with Toni Elias seventh ahead of Mika KallioAnthony West and Dominique Aegerter. Scott Redding’s 1:43.372 secured fifth overall and having learned everything he’d set out to at the start of the week, the Marc VDS rider decided not to risk himself or his motorcycle on Thursday. Fellow Britons Danny Kent and Kyle Smith did go out but neither improved their times, finishing the test 20th and 28th.

The next time Moto2 machines will be ridden in anger will be in first practice for the Qatar Grand Prix two weeks from now. Keep an eye on The Checkered Flag in the days ahead of the season opener for a full preview of the intermediate class.