Marini leads Moto2, Arbolino tops Moto3 in first day of Jerez test

by Alice Cipolat
Luca Marini Jerez Test day 1 2019

Luca Marini topped the timesheets on the first day of the Jerez Moto2 test ahead of Iker Lecuona and Sam Lowes. The riders were fortunate to have sunny, dry weather to make the test as productive as possible.

The times in the top 5 were extremely close, with 5th place Alex Marquez setting a lap time just over two tenths slower than Marini’s 1:41.146. The top 10 riders all managed to set a faster lap time than the pole lap in Jerez 2018, with the introduction of the new Triumph engines meaning faster bikes. The close times set by riders bode well for a competitive 2019 season.

Jorge Martin was the fastest rookie in P11, continuing to acclimatise to the Moto2 bike after suffering from injury through the winter. Enea Bastianini, another rookie to the class, finished 12th fastest, just 0.041 behind Martin. Tom Luthi was 9th fastest, returning to the intermediate class after a gruelling season in MotoGP.

Crashers during the test were Joe Roberts, Lowes, Bo Bendsneyder, Marco Bezzecchi and rookie Jake Dixon. Dixon is making the move to the world championship for 2019 from British Superbikes, riding for the Angel Nieto team.

Over in Moto3, it was also an Italian setting the fastest lap time. Tony Arbolino finished on top, though he was just 0.045 away from rookie Sergio Garcia in 2nd. The top 4 were all Honda riders, with Gabriel Rodrigo and Lorenzo Dalla Porta finishing 3rd and 4th fastest respectively.

The returning Romano Fenati finished in 7th, ahead of rookie Ai Ogura. Raul Fernandez finished tenth, one of only 2 KTMs in a Honda-dominated top 10. British rider John McPhee finished 12th fastest.

The close times across the timesheets can also be seen in the Moto3 class, again positive for a competitive and exciting season.

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