Fastest at the opening Valencia test, new Kalex rider Johann Zarco remained the man to be beat after this week's Jerez Moto2 test.

The Frenchman, riding for the newly formed Ajo team, set a best lap of 1m 42.121s on Thursday's third and final day. While comfortably under the 1m 42.706s official pole record, Zarco was only 0.044s clear of Speed Up's Sam Lowes, who had also been his nearest rival at Valencia.

"This last day of testing we again have very good weather," said Zarco, who is yet to finish higher than third in a Moto2 race. "It is a pleasure to ride in such temperatures. We did not want to make a mistake because of the cold and luckily we were able to try some things on the bike, to confirm whether the setup for the suspension and chassis were the right ones. We have completed the testing we wanted to do and we are very happy with it.

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"We finished off with a race simulation. We cannot draw many conclusions from it, because you don't compete against other riders at the same time, but it shows us that we are consistent and how I feel on the bike. It allowed us to also analyse the feeling with a full tank and empty tank and the differences in braking and handling with the bike. We have gathered a lot of information and we have the next test within a month.

"I will try to continue the good feeling, have a positive mindset and try to improve the times when we return to Jerez."

The final official pre-season takes place back at Jerez on March 17-19.