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Moto2: Bradl leads last test

Stefan Bradl leads last Moto2 pre-season test, at Jerez.
Stefan Bradl, winner of last year's Portuguese Grand Prix, finished the final Moto2 pre-season test on top of the timesheets at Jerez on Sunday.

The test was the first with the official 2011 Honda engines and Bradl - whose Viessmann Kiefer Racing team has switched from Suter to a Kalex-designed chassis - led the way on the last day due to a best lap of 1min 42.697sec, set during a four-lap run.

That lap time, which was also the fastest over all three days, was not only well inside the 1min 44.372sec pole time set by Shoya Tomizawa in last year's Spanish Grand Prix, but also beat the former 250cc Jerez official best lap of 1min 42.868sec set by Dani Pedrosa in 2005.

Closest to Bradl, who was only ninth in last year's championship, was reigning 125cc world champion Marc Marquez, who made up for time lost during a day two fall by lapping just 0.283sec slower than the German. The Catalunya Caixa Repsol (Suter) rider set his best time at the end of a five-lap run and already looks like a 600cc title contender.

Simone Corsi was fifth on day three, but had been quickest of all on day two and that lap time gave the new Ioda Racing Project third overall, just 0.349sec from Bradl. The Italian was also the top FTR rider.

Yuki Takahashi, who has replaced reigning Moto2 champion Toni Elias at the Gresini team, made it four different chassis manufacturers in the top four. The Japanese, a Moto2 winner with Tech 3 last season, was third on day three, 0.641sec from Bradl.

Day one pace setter Thomas Luthi dropped to third and then fourth over the following two-days. Interwetten has switched from Moriwaki to Suter for 2011 and Swiss star Luthi was fifth, and 0.738sec from Bradl, on combined times.

Former MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro was the next best Kalex rider after Bradl, in sixth overall (+0.807sec) for the Pons team, with Julian Simon (Aspar-Suter), Scott Redding (Marc VDS-Suter), Michele Pirro (Gresini-Moriwaki) and Claudio Corti (Italtrans-Suter) completing an overall top ten covered by 1.105sec.

Bradley Smith had been an impressive sixth on day two, then lapped slightly slower on Sunday. The Briton was eleventh overall on combined times and the leading Tech 3 rider.

Big names further back included former MotoGP rider Mika Kallio (Marc VDS-Suter, 13th overall), World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP-Suter, 14th overall), former World Superbike race winner Max Neukirchner (MZ Racing-FTR, 16th) plus MotoGP podium finishers and Moto2 winner Alex de Angelis (JiR-MotoBI, 17th overall).

The first race of the 2011 Moto2 season takes place at Qatar on the evening of March 20.

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Bradl,  Jerez 125/Moto2 tests, 4-6 March 2011
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