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Moto2: Pol Espargaro heads Kalex 1-2-3 in testing
12 November 2012
Fresh from wrapping up the 2012 Moto2 World Championship runners-up spot behind Marc Marquez, Pol Espargaro put himself at the top of the timesheets as post-season testing got underway at Valencia.
The Spaniard, a pole sitter in the dry around the Spanish circuit this weekend, spent the day riding his familiar Tuent Movil HP 40's-backed Pons Kalex, albeit fitted with a new clutch, swingarm and the latest evolution of Dunlop's tyres.
With the forecast rain failing to materialise, Espargaro lapped his home circuit in an unofficial 1min 34.9secs, heading off Valencia podium winner Julian Simon, the Spaniard becoming swiftly acquainted with the Italtrans Kalex following a year riding FTR and Suter machinery with Blusens Avintia.
Mika Kallio landed in third place as he looks ahead to his third season with Marc VDS Racing, just ahead of another Valencia podium winner Nico Terol, the last-ever 125GP champion going fourth fastest on the Aspar Suter.
Just a fraction of new team-mate Simon, Takaaki Nakagami emerged fifth best on the second of the Italtrans machines.
Elsewhere, though the top ten was mostly dominated by established riders working on their current machines – including Jordi Torres, Scott Redding and Thomas Luthi -, Simone Corsi and Mattia Pasini made their debut with NGM Forward Speed Up, while top 2012 rookie Johann Zarco got his first taste of Suter machinery with the Came Ioda team and his replacement, Mike Di Meglio, jumped aboard the JiR Motobi.
Gino Rea and Xavier Simeon would also enjoy stints with the SAG Bimota alongside Marcel Schrotter, while Anthony West was back on his familiar QMMF machine as his recent suspension doesn't cover testing.
Meanwhile, the test would see the first appearance of a brand-new Honda backed operation led by former MotoGP rider Tadayuki Okada. Established to promote Asian youngsters, Honda Asia Team Tady was on track with experienced Moto2 race winner Yuki Takahashi riding a Moriwaki.
Sporting an all-new line-up for 2013, Tech 3 Racing gave Moto3 graduates Danny Kent and Louis Rossi their debuts, while another Briton Kyle Smith, who competes in the Spanish championship, was out on track testing with Blusens Avintia.