Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti was the fastest man of the final Moto2 pre-season test in Jerez, Spain.
The final official IRTA Moto2 test of the 2010 pre-season brought out all the teams in a last-ditched effort to get their all-new prototype machines dialed in for the opening round of the series April 11 in Qatar. The three-day test took place in Jerez, Spain, with perfect weather allowing lap times to drop under that of the previous Jerez test, showing the Moto2 bikes may, in fact, have the potential to run close to the pace of the 250cc GP class in which they are replacing. Something they have yet to come close to.
Painting a pretty clear picture of how the season should stack up, at least to start, Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti topped the timesheets with a best lap of 1:44.044. Corti struggled on Day 1 and Day 2 with a nagging injury to his left ankle but was able to put down a blistering fast lap on Day 3 to top ex-MotoGP rider Toni Elias for the No. 1 spot.
“We are ahead and now people will expect a lot of me – I have almost placed myself in a trap!” said Corti. “We will go to Qatar with the intention of doing well even though we don’t know the track entirely. Now we leave Jerez satisfied with the lap times as well as the race pace.”
Elias, aboard his Gresini Moriwaki prototype, was immediately on pace, setting his best time of 1:44.077 on the opening day of the test, then focusing on bike set-up and race distance simulations all of Day 2 and early on Day 3. But before he was able to bolt
MotoGP refugee Toni Eiias led the way on Day 1 and ended second overall, but a hard fall on Day 3 has him questionable for the start of the season in two weeks.
on a soft tire to go for a quick lap on the final day, Elias hit the ground hard, requiring a trip to the local hospital with an injured left hand and left foot.
The Spaniard went down trying to avoid a slower 125cc rider during one of the combined practice sessions. He immediately flew to Barcelona for further evaluation. While mild fractures are suspected, Elias says he thinks he will fit enough compete in the opening round in two weeks. At what percent is unknown.
Third-quick in the overall times was Karel Abraham on the Cardion AB entry. Besting his quickest lap from Day 1 by over two seconds, Abraham posted a 1:44.491 on the third day of the test. He was followed by VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding, the British rider lapping at a 1:44.394, also on Day 3.
American Kenny Noyes was once again right in the mix with the top guys in his rookie season of Grand Prix racing, even though he was riding with a bruised and battered right hand from a fall while training the week prior. Constantly up front and fast throughout the final pre-season test, Noyes ended fifth fastest, his best lap of 1:44.406 coming on the third day, putting him a mere 0.362 seconds off the leader.
“We have to be satisfied with the results of the three days,” commented Noyes. “We have the Jack & Jones by Antonio Banderas Pro-Harris working well and we know how it reacts now to slight adjustments. Sure, I’d be happier if we left here with the fastest time, but I wasn’t able to push as hard as I would have if I had been 100%. We didn’t even put on a
American GP rookie Kenny Noyes was impressive once again, finishing the test fifth overall despite nursing an injured hand from a training crash the week prior.
soft tire, so we know we have more in reserve. The hand was okay on Friday, but a little worse on Saturday and so on for Sunday so I just went over the Clinic, got some shots, and went for it. I was planning to go out again on a soft tire, but the painkiller wore off early and we decided to load up. We are ready to race now and this class is shaping up like I thought with more and more guys getting faster and faster every time out.”
Reigning 125cc GP champion Julian Simon on the Mapfre Aspar team was sixth-quick, his best time coming on the final day. Blusens-STX’s Yonny Hernandez has been fast all season and Jerez was more of the same, finishing a close seventh. He was followed by Frenchman Jules Cluzel on the second Forward Racing machine, while Anthony West surprised a lot of people with the pace of the late-entry MZ by finishing the test competitive ninth.
Despite topping the time sheets on Day 2, Tech 3’s Yuki Takahashi was unable to improve on Day 3 and ended the test rounding out the top-10. It wasn’t one of his best off-season performances, but considering the closeness of the class, he’s no doubt going to be right in the mix come Qatar.
“In every test, on every day, we continue improving and find interesting solutions that are allowing us to define the best path,” said Takahashi
As a whole the Moto2 field also is shaping up to be one of, if not the most competitive GP category for 2010. The first 16 riders were separated by less than a second in Jerez, and you have to go all the way by to 33rd position to find the first rider two seconds off the pace.
Moto2 Jerez Test II Results
1. Claudio Corti (Forward Racing) 1:44.044 – Day 3
2. Toni Elias (Gresini Racing) 1:44.077 – Day 1
3. Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) 1:44.291 – Day 3
4. Scott Redding (VDS Racing) 1:44.394 – Day 3
5. Kenny Noyes (Jack&Jones by A. Banderas) 1:44.406 – Day 3
6. Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar)
7. Yonny Hernandez (Blusens-STX) 1:44.477 – Day 3
8. Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) 1:44.522 – Day 3
9. Anthony West (MZ Racing)
10. Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3 Racing) 1:44.552 – Day 2