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Moto2 2013: Preview

He said: “I have a good feeling today and in the three days of testing 0.5 [behind] leader Pol, [in] 3rd place but the best thing is that I enjoy so much this great bike!”

#45 Scott Redding – Great Britain – Marc VDS Kalex
Great Britain's hope of success in the intermediate category rests on the shoulders of 20 year-old Scott Redding. After seeing a deal for a Moto GP ride fall through at the 11th hour he enters his 4th year in the Moto 2 category looking to fight for race wins and the title. Redding stands to benefit most from the new weight limit of 215kg which should go some way to reducing his speed disadvantage that hindered his campaign last year. He has been consistent throughout preseason, improved his wet weather set up, and insists he has been riding well within his limits. A world championship challenge could be on the cards.

Official pre-season Test Results:
Valencia – 7th
Jerez I – 3rd
Jerez II – 5th
Gap from 1st place at above tests:
+0.716sec
+0.517sec
+0.736sec
Last year's championship placing: 5th
He said: “For me that's the target this year, to actually really fight for the championship. Last year we said we would go top five every race, and the majority of the time we reached that. Whereas now, we decided, I decided in myself that I really need to go for a championship before moving up to MotoGP.”

#24 Toni Elias – Spain – Blusens Avintia Kalex
Inaugural Moto 2 champion Toni Elias has seen his career take a turn for the worse since 2010. A disastrous year followed in Moto GP and he failed to gel with Aspar's Suter last year, splitting with the team after Mugello. He's back aboard the Blusens Kalex machine but so far has failed to find a base setting that provides consistency. The first two tests were less than spectacular and, although he topped the timesheets after the first day at the final test, it was a one off lap, out of the blue, rather than a consistent assault. He clearly still has the speed though and once he has more time aboard the bike, he could be counted on for podium finishes.

Official pre-season Test Results:
Valencia – 14th
Jerez I – 17th
Jerez II – 4th
Gap from 1st place at above tests:
+1.334sec
+2.016sec
+0.729sec
Last years championship placing: 17th
He said: “I think I can fight for the title. If you already have a World Championship, why not [fight for] two? This is my goal and after having spent two bad years I'm even more motivated, [and] so far we are doing well.”

#80 Esteve Rabat – Spain – Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex
Surely one of 2013's dark horses comes in the form of Tito Rabat. He was very competitive at several meetings last year, anonymous at others. Yet so far this year the three tests have seen him competing at the sharp end and he was notably consistent in the second Jerez outing, even more so than his team-mate. He claims to have found a set up that will allow him to fight at the front in most races. Qatar and Austin will be a fine yardstick to measure his improvement.

Official pre-season Test Results:
Valencia – 8th
Jerez I – 6th
Jerez II – 6th
Gap from 1st place at above tests:
+0.740sec
+1.075sec
+0.788sec
Last year's championship placing: 7th
He said: “I think I'm better prepared than ever to start the World Championship, after being with the best in the three tests. The team is doing a great job and I think together we found a way to fight for the top positions in every race, starting with Qatar in two weeks. I am happy and eager to start racing.”

#30 Takaaki Nakagami – Japan – Italtrans Racing Kalex
The 21 year-old Japanese has impressed with his consistency and sustained speed throughout preseason, particularly in his showings at Jerez. Last season's tests were similarly positive however, and the 2011 Japanese Moto 2 champion struggled for consistency, scoring a strongest finish of 7th. With a full season's experience in the class behind him and a properly competitive teammate next to him in the garage, 2013 could see Takaaki stepping up as a regular podium contender.

Official pre-season Test Results:
Valencia – 6th
Jerez I – 2nd
Jerez II – 2nd
Gap from 1st place at above tests:
+0.545sec
+0.299sec
+0.467sec
Last years championship placing: 15th
He said: “[I have] mixed feelings – very happy with the lap times and our position on the board, but I'm a little worried because of a sudden chattering experienced at the end of the final session. All in all, the test season has been satisfying, the job done great and we are going to have a good base when Qatar will call us to fight for the points”.

#36 Mika Kallio – Finland – Mark VDS Kalex
Finnish ace Mika Kallio has faced a difficult two years in Moto 2 after his disastrous second season in Moto GP in 2010. Although his results have rarely been spectacular, he was consistent last season and ended the year a solid sixth overall. He is confident that he has ridded the bike of chatter and insists he just needs more time on the bike to boost his confidence. A big crash on the third day in Jerez prevented him from jumping up the scoreboard. We all remember Kallio's speed from his 125 and 250 days. If he gains that little extra confidence, he may surprise us all.

Official pre-season Test Results:
Valencia – 13th
Jerez I – 7th
Jerez II – 10th
Gap from 1st place at above tests:
+1.192sec
+1.117sec
+1.138sec
Last year's championship placing: 6th




Related Pictures

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Kevin Schwantz tests Suzuki MotoGP bike (Pic: Suzuki).
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Crutchlow, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Aleix Espargaro, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014

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