As the Moto2™ grid was greeted by rain for its first day of testing at the Jerez circuit on Tuesday, Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol got out of the blocks quickest, setting the fastest time ahead of Simone Corsi and Julián Simón.
A time of 1:53.831 saw the Valencian take charge on his Suter, with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Corsi looking strong once again on his Speed Up machine less than two tenths behind. Italtrans Racing Team’s Simón was almost half a second down on the Italian, and the only one in the top three to post his time in the final session of the day.
Last test pace-setter Pol Espargaró put his Tuenti HP 40 Kalex in fourth just over two hundredths off Simón, closely pursued by Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding, who had led by the midway point. Came IodaRacing Project’s Johann Zarco, who last year made a reputation for himself as being quite handy in the wet, went sixth quickest on his new Suter, as he split Mika Kallio from his teammate.
NGM’s Ricky Cardús was the only other Speed Up machine inside the top 10, as he beat compatriots Jordi Torres on his Mapfre Aspar Suter and Esteve Rabat on his Pons Kalex.
Despite wet weather hindering quality testing on performance upgrades, teams will have been using the opportunity to find the ideal wet weather set-up for their new machines.
Ambrogio Racing’s Danny Webb made a terrific start to his Jerez Moto3™ test as he mastered the wet conditions best to top the timesheets on day one ahead of his teammate Brad Binder and Caretta Technology-RTG’s Jack Miller.
In the final part of the day Webb put in a lap of 1:56.924, which was over four-tenths faster than his South African teammate. And in a reversal of the Spanish dominance seen in Valencia last week, Australian Miller looked equally comfortable in third, less than a tenth off Binder.
The first outside of the top three was the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo of Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Luis Salom, with Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger in tow. JHK T-Shirt Laglisse’s Maverick Viñales, who had been outstanding in the dry last week, posted the seventh quickest time just fractionally over a second off the top.
The rain at the track had stopped around mid-day, although the teams were running on wet tires until the end, as no sun had appeared to dry out the track. However, times had dropped steadily towards the end of the day for all riders.