Márquez tops the timesheet at first test in Jerez
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez got his 2018 Moto2 campaign off to the perfect start, beating his own pole position record by more than one second to top the timesheet after three days in Jerez.
Having focussed on development with chassis manufacturer Kalex for most of the three-day test, Márquez waited until the last session on the final day before heading out for a fast lap on the softer option tyre. The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider posted a time of 1'40.926 to finish 0.334s ahead of his closest rival, Francesco Bagnaia.
For Moto2 rookie Joan Mir the Jerez test was more about increasing his familiarity and confidence with the 600cc Kalex machine he'll race this season than fast lap times. The reigning Moto3 World Champion saw steady improvement over the course of the three-day test, which he finished half a second faster compared to his previous best time at the circuit, set in November.
The two Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders will now enjoy a short break, before returning to action in a three-day private test in Valencia on 26th February.
Álex Márquez: P1 – 1'40.926
“Obviously I'm happy with the final lap time; it's always good to see your name at the top of the timesheet, but it's just one lap. More importantly we saw some improvement in the bike during the final day, with some of the new components we were testing for Kalex and that also instils some confidence going into what promises to be a very competitive season. Now we need to confirm these improvements in Valencia, which is a circuit where we struggled a little bit for rear grip last season.”
Joan Mir: P12 – 1'42.209
“It's been three really good days of testing here at Jerez. What is important is that we have made some improvements to the bike, especially getting it to turn better in the corners, and that has allowed us to close the gap to the top of the timesheet. We've also been working to find more grip from the rear, with positive results. Overall I'm happy. I think we've done a really good job here and for that I have to say thank you to the team. Now we need to continue in the same way when we get to Valencia for the next test.”