Day 2 of the second official IRTA Moto2 test saw another MotoGP refugee top the timesheets, as Gresini’s Toni Elias took his Moriwaki machine to a best time of 1:45.024. Elias was second-fastest yesterday in the wet, backing that up with the top spot today in the dry.
Continuing to impress in pre-season testing was Yonny Hernandez. The Colombian was a half-second back from Elias in second spot with a best lap of 1:45.528 at the Andalusian track.
Equally as impressive has been the sole American in the series, Kenny Noyes. This will be Noyes’ rookie Grand Prix season and while he was down in 12th yesterday in the rain, today he was back up in third as things dried out, with a quick time of 1:45.704. In fact, Noyes led the timesheets nearly all day, as it wasn’t until late in the afternoon that Elias and Hernandez were able to drop under the American’s morning time.
“We are really happy with the way everything went,” said Noyes in a team press release. “I felt a lot more confident on the bike today in the rain and in the dry. I never really got a good dry lap on the soft tire, but the important thing is that we just keep improving the bike. If it rains tomorrow, we have one change we want to try, but hopefully it will be dry so that we can use the soft tires. I think if we raced in these (cold) conditions that would be the race tire. The bike just keeps getting better and we are understanding how to make little changes to dial the bike in as conditions change.”
Along with Elias, another ex-MotoGP man on the grid this season will be Alex de Angelis. The San Marinese rider, who was quickest on Day 1 in the wet, followed that up with the fourth-fastest time on Day 2 in the dry, clocking a 1:45.732, some 0.708 seconds off his former teammate. Frenchman Jules Cluzel rounded out the top-five, finishing the second day in the same spot as he ended Day 1. His Forward Racing teammate Claudio Corti was just behind in sixth.
Thomas Lüthi on the Interwetten Moriwaki, Italtrans STR’s Roberto Rolfo and Shoya Tomizawa on the Technomag-CIP machine, who was very quick in the first test in Valencia, all came in under the 1:46 mark in seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. The faster rider from Valencia, Mapfre Aspar’s Julián Simón, continued to struggle. The current reigning 125cc GP world champion could only manage the 10th-quickest time.
In comparison to previous 250cc Grand Prix times from Jerez, the Moto2 bikes still have a solid gap to make up. The previous 250cc GP qualifying lap record is held by Marco Simoncelli at a 1:43.546 in ’08, while the outright quickest race lap belongs to Dani Pedrosa from ’05 with a 1:42.868. As such, the Moto2 machines are still on average two seconds off the pace. Granted the conditions weren’t ideal on either day of the test thus far, so it will be interesting to see if some warmth and more dry weather brings with it better times for the final day of the test tomorrow.
Moto2 Jerez Day 2 Results
1. Toni Elias (Gresini Racing) – 1:45.024
2. Yonny Hernandez (Bluses-STX) – 1:45.528
3. Kenny Noyes (Jack&Jones by A. Banderas) – 1:45.704
4. Alex de Angelis (Scot Racing) – 1:45.732
5. Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) – 1:45.765
6. Claudio Corti (Forward Racing) – 1:45.889
7. Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki) – 1:45.902
8. Roberto Rolfo (Italtrans STR) – 1:45.965
9. Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag – Suter) – 1:45.969
10. Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) – 1:46.193