Alex Marquez sent a clear message to his Moto2 title rivals after topping the three-day official test held at Jerez.
This was the Marc VDS rider’s first outing in 2018 and he made the most of it, recording the quickest lap time of day three and taking top spot overall with a time of 1:40.926.
Marquez knows that he has a fight ahead of him in 2018, with the factory-backed KTM duo of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder dominating the final three races of the 2017 campaign.
The closest rider to Marquez over the three days in Jerez was Francesco Bagnaia on the SKY VR46 machine, with the Italian topping the timing sheets on the opening two days of the test.
Bagnaia ended the test three tenths behind Marquez, but he was the only rider within half-a-second of the Spaniard. Like Marquez, Bagnaia had also missed the opening test of the year in Valencia.
Rounding out the top three was Binder on the KTM. The 2016 Moto3 Champion was was 0.799 off the pace, but he will no doubt be happy with being the top KTM rider.
Lorenzo Baldassarri was next-up in fourth place on the PONS HP 40 bike, just ahead of Xavi Vierge and Oliveira on the second KTM.
Luca Marini made a positive start to life with the SKY VR46 team in seventh, beating eighth place man Mattia Pasini by just 0.039s.
The top 10 places were closed out by two former MotoGP riders, with Hector Barbera in ninth spot and Britain’s Sam Lowes ending the test down in 10th. Barbera finished as runner-up in this class back in 2009, when the championship was known the 250cc Championship.
As expected, the quickest Moto3 graduate was the 2017 champion Joan Mir. The Marc VDS rider ended up in 12th spot and was only a tenth off the two riders ahead of him.
Marcel Schrötter, Remy Gardner and Simone Corse completed the top 15, with 2015 Moto3 champion Danny Kent ending the test down in 17th spot.
In the Moto3 class, Tony Arbolino topped the overall timing sheets on the Marinelli Snipers Team. The Italian was just 0.132s ahead of veteran rider Enea Bastianini on the Leopard Racing machine.
Jorge Martin, the quickest rider on the opening two days, ended up finishing third overall for the Del Conca Gresini team. Rookie rider, and reigning FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior world champion, Dennis Foggia put in an impressive performance for the SKY VR46 team to finish fourth overall.
The Moto2 and Moto3 teams will return to Jerez for another test between March 6-8.