18 November 2014
Valencia Moto2 Test: Rabat fastest, first fall for Marquez
“The feeling was good today and I'm very happy with the 2015 Kalex Moto2 bike” – Esteve Rabat.
Moto2 world champion Esteve Rabat led the timesheets as the second unofficial post-season test got underway at Valencia on Monday.
After last week's rain-hit Jerez test, teams and riders were greeted by much better weather at Valencia, scene of the season finale on November 9.
Riding the new 2015 Kalex, Estrella Galicia Marc VDS rider Rabat set the pace with a time of 1m 35.287s, a fraction under Thomas Luthi's best race lap on the way to a surprise victory over Rabat.
“The feeling was good today and I'm very happy with the 2015 Kalex Moto2 bike,” Rabat declared. “We tested a lot of things like suspension, brakes and riding position, everything we need to test and evaluate to improve the bike ahead of next season. I'm pleased with the progress we made today and I hope we can continue improving in the same way tomorrow.”
Jonas Folger (AGR Kalex), Takaaki Nakagami (Honda Team Asia Kalex), Luis Salom (Pons Kalex) and Mika Kallio (Italtrans Kalex) completed the Monday top five.
Kallio's Marc VDS replacement and reigning Moto3 champion Alex Marque made the most of the dry and sunny conditions to continue adapting to the 600cc machine. The 18-year-old Spaniard ended the day 13th on the timesheet, 1.5s off the time of his team-mate, despite a small crash at turn five this afternoon.
“I'm really pleased with the improvement we've made today in the dry conditions,” he said. “I feel really good with the bike and the team also. We've done some good work today and for tomorrow we need to keep this line, to continue improving step by step. I'm also happy with the lap time, so it's been a good day overall, even if I did have my first small crash on a Moto2 bike this afternoon.”
Chief mechanic Naoya Kaneko added: “Alex has done a good job today, with the gap to the frontrunners smaller than it was in Jerez last week. His consistency on the bike is also good, with only two or three-tenths difference in lap times. His crash today means he also understands more the different character of the Moto2 bike compared to a Moto3 machine, which is important.
“From our side we're trying to understand him better and also what he needs to give him more confidence on the bike. I think we're heading in the right direction, making improvements step by step, but still there is a lot of space to improve so we need to work hard together before the first race in Qatar.”
Testing continues on Tuesday.
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