|Corsi making progress with Speed Up chassis
Photo: Forward Racing
Day 3 of the Moto2 Valencia test saw a similar story to the previous days. Championship favourite Pol Espargaro ended up top, by 2 tenths over fellow countryman, Nico Terol; an almost negligible decrease from yesterday’s gap. Behind them, and the final man in the 34 second bracket was Julian Simon, on the Italtrans Kalex, evidently Simon finally starting to display the talent we saw prior to his severe leg injury sustained in 2011.
Current CEV Moto2 champion, Jordi Torres finished the test in 4th, half a second off Espargaro. Torres bettered his time from yesterday by over a second, lifting him 6 places in the test “standings”. This performance suggests we’ll be seeing a lot more of the Aspar rider in the approaching season.
Behind Torres in 5th was Thomas Luthi. The swiss rider set his best time of the test, before having a collision with Gresini rider, Ratthapark Wilairot. Luthi was taken to hospital to find that he had broken his arm and collarbone in the accident, which will require surgery in Bern over the coming days. It is possible that this injury could rule him out for the next several months, crushing his championship hopes, before the season is underway. Get well soon, Thomas!
Scott Redding continued some good form, ending in 7th position, behind Nakagami. The Brit improved on his laptime over the course of the test by over a second. Redding was followed by Rabat, another rider who will be thankful for the new combined minimum weight limit introduced into the class for this year. Both riders have consistently shown raw speed over the past several years, particularly Redding who has several podiums to his name. With the field (somewhat) evened up with the new weight limit, perhaps both riders will be able to get the monkey of their backs.
Simone Corsi of Forward Racing, finished in 9th, just behind Redding and Rabat. The Italian along with team mates, De Angelis, Cardus and Pasini, have all been testing the new Speed Up chassis; of which all have given positive feedback. Though Cardus, Pasini and De Angelis have made more steady progress throughout the test, ending up 16th, 18th and 20th respectively. Likewise on the Speed Up chassis, rain-meister Ant West found himself in a Pasini/Cardus sandwich, improving his best time from day 2 by nearly 4 tenths.
|Kyle Smith debuting on the Blusens Avintia Kalex
Photo: Avintia Racing
Sandro Cortese finished the test as top rookie in 21st place with a 1.36.733, just over 2 seconds off Espargaró. 21st may not seem like much, but this is a similar pattern as displayed by Espargaró and Terol over the past few years, this is a learning year for the 2012 Moto3 World Champion. Other rookies include the 2 remaining Brits in the class, Danny Kent and Kyle Smith, with Danny finishing 1 place ahead of Smith, by mere hundredths of a second. The 2 have been nipping at each others heels for the duration of the test, with both making around 1.75s progress across the 3 days.
We can see from the test as it was predicted by the masses, that Pol Espargaró will be the man to beat in 2013. Also, presuming that this isn’t home-town form from local rider, Terol, we can also deduce that he too could be a championship threat. With other Spaniards such as Julian Simon, Jordi Torres and Esteve Rabat also up the top of the leader boards, the Spanish theme running throughout the MotoGP categories is still prominent, it seems (yes, apart from Cortese, a German).
However, Moto2 will be out again next week in Jerez. There, we should gather a better impression of what we could see occurring throughout the season.
Combined times from day 3 featured below…
1. Pol Espargaro 1m 34.577s
2. Nicolas Terol 1m 34.777s
3. Julian Simon 1m 34.981s
4. Jordi Torres 1m 35.084s
5. Thomas Luthi 1m 35.093s
6. Takaaki Nakagami 1m 35.122s
7. Scott Redding 1m 35.293
8. Eteve Rabat 1m 35.317s
9. Simone Corsi 1m 35.365s
10. Johann Zarco 1m 35.399s
11. Dominique Aegerter 1m 35.555s
12. Axel Pons 1m 35.630s
13. Mika Kallio 1m 35.769s
14. Toni Elias 1m 35.911s
15. Xavier Simeon 1m 36.039s
16. Ricky Cardus 1m 36.347s
17. Anthony West 1m 36.434s
18. Mattia Pasini 1m 36.485s
19. Ratthapark Wilairot 1m 36.531s
20. Alex de Angelis 1m 36.722s
21. Sandro Cortese 1m 36.733s
22. Yuki Takahashi 1m 36.862s
23. Steven Odendaal 1m 37.159s
24. Danny Kent 1m 37.330s
25. Kyle Smith 1m 37.378s
26. Randy Krummenacher 1m 37.389s
27. Mike di Meglio 1m 37.571s
28. Louis Rossi 1m 37.662s
29. Alberto Moncayo 1m 38.097s
30. Doni Tat Pradita 1m 38.266s