19 November 2014
Valencia Moto2 Test: Rabat record, Marquez knocks confidence
“Tito has wasted no time adapting to the 2015 Kalex; basically he just jumped on it and was fast straight away”
Moto2 world champion Esteve Rabat finished the unofficial Valencia test by clipping almost half-a-second from his Monday best to beat the circuit pole record.
The Marc VDS star, the first rider to attempt a Moto2 title defence, set the 1m 34.844s time using the new 2015 Kalex machine.
“We've had two really productive days here at Valencia and my feeling with the 2015 Kalex is really good,” Raba said. “We have tested a lot of things again today, but I've also had to adapt slightly my riding style to get more from the bike, and that's worked well here too. My pace was good, my rhythm was good and my lap time was good, so I'm happy. Now we head to Almeria, where we will continue working to find further improvements.”
“Tito has wasted no time adapting to the 2015 Kalex; basically he just jumped on it and was fast straight away, as we pretty much expected him to be,” declared team principal Michael Bartholemy. “He was under the outright lap record today despite the track temperature being quite cool, so already we can see that the bike has improved and Tito has figured out how to get the best from the improvements. I'm sure he'll be looking to break his own lap record at Almeria next week too!”
Johann Zarco (Ajo), Jonas Folger (AGR), Luis Salom (Pons) and Xavier Simeon (Gresini) completed the top five behind Rabat.
Rookie team-mate Alex Marquez had a more challenging test. Riding in fully dry conditions for the first time after last week's rain-hit Jerez test, the newly crowned Moto3 champion fell once on day one, then two more times on day two.
Marquez, younger brother of MotoGP champion Marc, finished the day in 12th, but with a best lap time only one-second from Rabat.
“Today we've again done some good work, continuing to adapt to the Moto2 bike step by step, which was our goal,” Marquez began. “The riding style required for Moto2 is very different to that in Moto3. With the small bike you carry a lot of corner speed, but with the Moto2 bike you need to be more aggressive on the brakes, get the bike stopped and then pick it up on the gas.
“We're going in the right direction, as can be seen from the fact we're now only a second from Tito, but the two crashes knocked my confidence a little and building it back up lost us some time. Now we need to continue in the same direction in Almeria, where I hope we can close the gap to Tito even further.”
Marquez's former team-mate and fellow Moto2 rookie Alex Rins was eighth fastest on his new Pons Kalex.
Rabat and Marquez now have a few days off before heading to Almeria for the final test of 2014.
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