Salom Hits The Front As Testing Draws To A Close

Luis Salom took advantage of Maverick Vinales’ absence to finish the final pre-season test at Jerez as the fastest rider. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, replacement for outgoing champion Sandro Cortese, put in a 1:46.374 with his penultimate lap of the winter to edge out Vinales who spent the day undergoing reconstructive surgery on the finger he injured yesterday.

Before Salom’s late flyer, the day had been dominated by the Estrella Galicia 0’0 team with Alex Rins and Alex Marquez running first and second, much as they did throughout their spell as Spanish Championship teammates in 2011. Rins fractionally improved on his Wednesday effort but still remained behind Vinales overall although Marquez’s 1:46.986 saw him jump two places to fourth.

Try as he might, Jonas Folger couldn’t break into the 1:46s and dropped to fifth overall despite taking fourth today. Niccolo Antonelli was one of the big movers after a quiet pre-season on Go & Fun Gresini’s FTR-Honda, setting his fastest time of the week to go fifth, thirteenth in the combined times, while Efren Vazquez also clocked a personal best to finish sixth, lifting him to sixteenth for the week.

After his crash in the wet on Tuesday and lack of pace yesterday, Danny Webb chose not to run today, allowing him to rest up ahead of the Qatar season opener, although John McPhee did have one last run on Caretta Technology’s FTR-Honda, allowing him to break into the top 20.

The next time Moto3 machines will be seen in action 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 junior class.