Nicolo Bulega was the class of the field in the penultimate Moto3 pre-season test at Jerez this week. The Italian, who claimed his maiden pole position and podium at this circuit last season, topped the timesheets with a blistering lap on the second of three days, edging out Aron Canet who has set the pace on days one and three.
Canet had taken pole for last season’s finale at Valencia, only to stall on the dummy grid, and the Spanish youngster set an impressive pace on day one to see off returnee Romano Fenati, back in the series with Marinelli Rivacold Snipers after his unceremonious departure from Sky VR46. Bulega would top all three sessions on Thursday though to move ahead of his former CEV rival and despite an improvement on Friday, Canet was forced to settle for second.
Jorge Martin, now in Gresini colours, snatched third from ahead of Jakub Kornfeil and Fenati while Marcos Ramirez produced one of the week’s stand-out performances to finish sixth as Platinum Bay Real Estate found the KTM machines much more to their liking than the Mahindras of 2016. The RBA KTMs of Gabriel Rodrigo and Juanfran Guevara were seventh and eighth ahead of 2016 Rookie of the Year Joan Mir while British Talent Team’s John McPhee rounded out the top ten.
All eyes were on the two big names to switch teams over the winter but Red Bull KTM Ajo’s new signing Niccolo Antonelli had a quiet start, finishing sixteenth, while Enea Bastianini was eighteenth after his long-awaited move to Estrella Galicia 0,0.
Moto3 Official Pre-Season Test – Jerez (Combined Classification)
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