Moto2 pre-season favourite Pol Espargaro, fastest at both previous official tests, returned to the head of the timesheets on day three of this week's final Jerez test.
The Pons Kalex rider set the fastest lap of the week so far with a time of 1m 42.636s, putting the young Spaniard a substantial 0.467s clear of nearest rival Takaaki Nakagami. Espargaro was 0.3s outside his best lap from February's test.
"I've been working on the development of the bike and at the end I was able to clock at 1m 42.6s, very close to my time on the last visit to Jerez. Moreover I have given several times in 1.42, when no other driver has dropped to 1m 43s,” he said.
Nakagami's Italtrans Kalex team-mate Julian Simon and Marc VDS rider Scott Redding completed the Wednesday top four, with Nico Terol the top non-Kalex in fifth place (+0.802s) for the Aspar Suter team. Esteve Rabat was the final rider within one-second of his team-mate Espargaro.
“I think we're ready to begin the World Championship, but we'll have to work hard because a small problem can cost the lead of the standings,” said Espargaro. “Simon, Terol, Redding and Rabat seem the strongest so far, then Luthi will return from injury… There will surely be a long list of rivals.
“I can't wait for the racing to start.”
Testing concludes on Thursday.