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Moto2, Moto3 testing underway at Almeria
26 November 2013
Just over 20 Moto2/Moto3 participants began testing at Almería in Spain on Tuesday.
With the winter test ban kicking in on December 1, the private outing is likely to mark the last opportunity to gather data on the prototype versions of their 2014 machines.
In the Moto2 class, newly crowned Moto3 champion Maverick Vinales was reported to have set the day one pace for Pons Kalex, several tenths ahead of Jordi Torres.
Torres is the only Aspar rider at the test - team-mate Nico Terol sitting it out - and the surprise Sachsenring winner completed an extensive 70 laps. Torres concentrated on the 2014 Suter chassis as well as a variety of swingarm and suspension tests.
“Even though the tests we had done before today had been useful we still needed some more data with the new chassis that we will use next year so we came here to Almería,” said Torres.
“We worked all day with the new Suter frame and did some experiments with different swingarms and shocks, playing around with the stiffness of the bike and trying to get it to turn better and eliminate some of the vibrations we had this season.
“After 70 laps we had built up a lot of information and tomorrow we will compare it with the old chassis. We are doing a lot of important work so that we can give Suter as much information as possible for them to work with over the winter.”
A fraction slower than Torres was new Gresini signing Xavier Simeon, however the Belgian was running the older Suter chassis.
“The last time I rode at Almeria was five years ago, so I decided to start the first day of testing with calm, still using the 2013 bike,” he explained. “I am pleased because I got a good rhythm since the beginning and I did a very good lap time. Now I'm ready to test the 2014 chassis for a first in-depth comparison.”
Rookie team-mate Lorenzo Baldassari was 1.5s slower. The Italian, who dislocated his shoulder at the previous Jerez test, was making his debut on the 2014 Suter.
“It has been a very positive first day of testing: my feeling with the new bike was immediately very good,” he declared. “Unfortunately my left shoulder is still not OK: at the end of the day began to bother me, especially when braking. Tomorrow I will try to make shorter runs to avoid fatigue. I still have to work a little bit on my riding style, but I'm happy because today I felt very comfortable riding the bike.”
In the Moto3 category, the main news was the return of the title-fighting Estrella Galicia 0,0 team to Honda machinery, after a season with KTM. Title runner-up Alex Rins was a fraction quicker than team-mate Alex Marquez on the upgraded Honda package, created in response to this year's KTM domination.
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