News 30 Mar 2010

MotoGP: Corti tops final Moto2 test, West ninth at Jerez

With the start of the season now less than two weeks away the on-track preparations of the Moto2 and 125cc riders and teams were finished at the Jerez circuit on Monday – the third and final day of the last official pre-season test.

There were significant developments in the new intermediate class, the main one of which was Claudio Corti’s arrival in the leading group of contenders. The Italian of the Forward Racing team, who had already performed well in the two previous Tests at Valencia and Jerez, took a major step forward in his progress throughout the three days at the circuit and was the quickest rider.

Limited in his ability to register a competitive time on the first day by a problem with his front fork in 18th position, Corti went just under the 1:45 mark on day two before posting a blistering time of 1:44.044 on Monday to set the fastest time of the entire test. All this was achieved despite a lingering injury to his left ankle.

Toni Elías, the quickest rider of the opening day, was unable to improve in the following sessions but his best time was still only 0.033 off the reference point set by Corti and placed him second overall.

The Gresini Racing Moto2 rider ended the test on a slightly less happy note however with a fall, as he hit the asphalt when trying to avoid a slower moving rider. The Spaniard returned immediately to Barcelona to undergo a medical assessment of injuries to his left hand and foot, and he does expect to be fit for the start of the season.

Third place in the overall times for the Test went to Karel Abraham, who also made a vast improvement across the three days. The Cardion AB Motoracing rider bettered his lap time by more than two seconds from day one. Abraham placed ahead of Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) and Kenny Noyes (Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas), who were fourth and fifth fastest respectively.

Julián Simón’s work on his RSV paid off as the Mapfre Aspar man finished the Test in sixth spot, at 0.406 off Corti’s marker. Yonny Hernández (Blusens-STX) was seventh with his time from day one, and Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing), Anthony West (MZ Racing) and Yuki Takahashi (Tech3 Racing) completed the top ten times in the combined classification.

Queenslander West’s best lap of 1:44.530 was just half a second off the pace from Corti’s top time.

Of the 125cc riders Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider Marc Márquez rounded off what has been a fantastic pre-season by setting the best lap of the Test. His time of 1:46.492 from the second day is now the fastest 125cc time at the track.

Rival for this year’s title Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) was only 0.275 behind and was the last rider under the 1:47 mark, whilst Bancaja Aspar’s Nico Terol made it an all-Spanish top three. Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo) and Efrén Vázquez (Tuenti Racing) both registered top five times, with Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) and Randy Krummenacher (STIPA-Molenaar Racing) sixth and seventh respectively.

2009 World Championship runner-up Bradley Smith was eighth on the timesheet at just over 1.5 off Márquez’s pace, and Andalucia Cajasol duo Alberto Moncayo and Danny Webb were also inside the top ten.

The riders will next meet for the opening practice session of the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar – the start of the FIM 2010 MotoGP World Championship which takes place from 9-11 April.