Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol made a storming start to the 2013 pre-season as he placed his Suter in front of Italtrans Racing Team’s Julián Simón and Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaró on the first day of Moto2™ testing in Valencia on Tuesday.
Much of the day was about getting back up to speed after the lengthy winter break, as well as adapting to the new 215kg bike and rider minimum weight. And Terol, testing what was predominantly last year’s bike with some chassis upgrades, went fastest with a 1:35.926, just over two hundredths quicker than Simón, who this year starts on a Kalex.
Espargaró, at this point still marked as one of the title favourites, left it late to post his fastest time and go third overall, marginally over four tenths off the top. His team manager Sito Pons had told motogp.com earlier in the day that only small changes had been made to last year’s bike, and that he believed his rider could certainly challenge for the title this year. He commented that Espargaró was “prepared, but it will be up to himself” to win.
Another title favourite, who should benefit from the minimum weight imposed, is Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding, as the Brit ended the day in fourth place on his Kalex bike. And staying with the Kalex theme, Simón’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami ousted NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Simone Corsi into fifth, with the Italian looking strong on the team’s new Speed Up machine.
Terol’s teammate Jordi Torres placed his Suter seventh, ahead of Pons’ Esteve Rabat and Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi on his Suter, who will hope to start this season with a similar vein of form as last year. Blusens Avintia’s Toni Elías rounded out the top 10.
JHK T-Shirt Laglisse’s Maverick Viñales started his season on board his new KTM in the ideal fashion by topping the timesheets on the first day of Valencia Moto3™ testing ahead of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins.
Viñales, who cited he was very pleased with the KTM’s power, set a best time of 1:40.715, beating KTM factory team new boy Salom by just over a tenth. Salom’s team manager Aki Ajo told motogp.com earlier in the day that the KTM was a “completely new bike”, and that while the engine had had a bit of work done, the chassis was the main change, being both lighter, and having more set-up possibilities.
And the KTM certainly proved the bike to beat on the opening day as Rins placed his machine third, albeit over half a second off Viñales. Salom’s teammate, who is also new to the team, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, was the last man to get under the 1:42 barrier, as he relegated Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger on his Kalex KTM into fifth.