Nicolo Bulega was the surprise pacesetter on the opening day of the official Moto3 pre-season test at Jerez. The Italian rookie, the reigning FIM CEV Junior World Champion, took the sole victory of his title-winning campaign here in November and was impressive again on Wednesday, outpacing Niccolo Antonelli.
Making full use of his knowledge of the Spanish circuits, Bulega was quick from the outset, leading Antonelli in the morning session. The times would tumble later in the afternoon though and with Antonelli among the minority in failing to improve, Bulega extended his advantage to 0.270s by the time the chequered flag came out.
Antonelli’s morning time was still good enough for second with Jorge Navarro’s afternoon time lifting him to third ahead of fellow championship favourite Enea Bastianini. Philipp Oettl, the fastest man in the second session, took fifth overall ahead of Fabio Quartararo, now aboard a KTM with the 2015 title-winning Leopard squad.
Brad Binder, now the team leader at Red Bull KTM Ajo, was seventh fastest ahead of Romano Fenati who trailed his rookie teammate by seven tenths and seven places. Francesco Bagnaia was the quickest rider aboard the new 2016-spec Mahindra, taking ninth ahead of Leopard Racing’s Joan Mir, but the newly-named Peugeot team made an understated start, John McPhee finishing 1.885s off the pace in 23rd.
Moto3 Official Test – Jerez (Day One Result)
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