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Moto2: Pol Espargaro completes perfect pre-season
21 March 2013
Last year's Moto2 title runner-up Pol Espargaro will start the 2013 race season having been fastest in all three official pre-season tests.
A windy fourth and final day at Jerez meant that Espargaro, who won four Moto2 races last season, couldn't beat his Wednesday time - or indeed his best lap from February's Jerez test.
But the Spaniard still finished on top of the Thursday timesheets, by 0.346s from Pons Kalex team-mate Esteve Rabat, with Aspar Suter riders Jordi Torres and Nico Terol in third and fourth.
In terms of overall lap times this week, Espargaro enjoyed a greater advantage, leading Takaaki Nakagami by 0.467s. Nakgami's Italrans Kalex team-mate Julian Simon was +0.552s for third overall, with day one pace setter Toni Elias (Blusens Kalex) 0.729s fourth and a fraction ahead of Scott Redding (Marc VDS Kalex).
"I again set the fastest time, but a long way from the pace of yesterday because of the strong wind that penalised us," said Espargaro. "I'm glad I was fastest in all three official IRTA tests, one in Valencia and two in Jerez, but clearly there are no points for it and we all start equal in Qatar.
"I think we are ready to fight for the title, a challenge we face with confidence. We will have to go race by race and never forget that Moto2 has some of the most difficult racing in the world championship, and that riders like Luthi, Simon Elias and Terol have all been champions, and others like Redding have the potential to complicate things for us if we do not give 110%."
Kalex filled the first six places on combined times this week, with Terol the only non-Kalex rider to get within one-second of Espargaro's best. The test marked the first time that riders were using the official 2013 Moto2 engines.
The Qatar season opener takes place at the Losail circuit from April 4-7.