Johann Zarco gave the new Ajo Moto2 team a perfect start to 2015 by leading the first day of official pre-season testing at Valencia.

The former Caterham Suter rider took his new Kalex to a scorching time of 1m 34.754s, under both the official race and qualifying lap records.

"Today I went faster than in the November test, so we've done a great job," Zarco said. "The conditions were not the best so we were very careful whenever we went out on track. Still, we focused on our work and the times we set were very good. We have to keep working hard.

Related Articles

"Now we will analyse the data to see what we can improve on the bike, but I'm very happy with how we did today. I think it was the best day of the three that we will have here, because on the other days it might rain. Currently it is cold but there is no wind, which would complicate the conditions.

"Today the main thing was to maintain a good pace and a good feeling on the bike, and I think we achieved that goal."

Second on the timesheets went to former WSS champion Sam Lowes. Preparing for his second grand prix season, the Speed Up rider set a time 0.352s behind Zarco and was the only non-Kalex in the top ten.

World champion Tito Rabat, aiming to become first multiple Moto2 title winner, had to settle for third (+0.391s) on his newly Estrella Galicia-backed Marc VDS Kalex. The Spaniard suffered three small falls during the day.

Kalex convert Thomas Luthi was fourth for Derendinger Racing Interwetten, with Xavier Simeon fifth for Gresini. Alex Rins was the top rookie in sixth place (+0.876s), a fraction ahead of Pons team-mate Luis Salom.

Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans), Jonas Folger (AGR) and Simone Corsi (Forward Racing) completed a top ten covered by 1.141s.

Tech 3's Marcel Schrotter made a promising start with eleventh on the team's Mistral 610, followed closely by QMMF Speed UP riders Anthony West and Julian Simon.

Long time Suter rider Dominique Aegerter began the year with 14th (+1.455s) on his new Kalex, with former Marc VDS rider Mika Kallio in 15th for Italtrans. Kallio's replacement, reigning Moto3 champion Alex Marquez, was 26th fastest (+3.019s) on the opening day.

Testing continues on Wednesday.