Alvaro Bautista got 2009 off to a perfect start by being fastest during all three days of the first official test of the year, which concluded at Jerez on Wednesday.

The Spaniard, whose 2008 title chances were eroded by accidents and inconsistency, kept his rivals at arm's length by reducing his best lap time over all three days, eventually finishing over half a second clear of reigning 125cc world champion Mike di Meglio and a fraction under absent reigning world champion Marco Simoncelli's official lap record.

Rookie di Meglio also made clear progress at the test, rising from sixth on day one to fourth on day two and then finding a further 0.44sec on the final day to complete an Aspar Aprilia one-two.

Third on Wednesday was returning Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama, the former factory KTM star lapped slightly slower than his runner-up pace on day two and came within 0.002sec of being overtaken by fourth placed Gabor Talmacsi.

The fourth former 125cc world champion at the test, Thomas Luthi, failed to build on an impressive start and slipped from second to Bautista on day one to fifth by the end of day three, having improved by less than 0.3sec between the first and last day.

Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot suffered a similar fate, dropping down the order from third on Monday to seventh on Tuesday, before regaining one position on the final day.

Lukas Pesek, Raffaele de Rosa and Hector Faubel - making his 250cc Honda debut - completed the top nine. Luthi, Pesek and de Rosa all fell without harm on the final day.

The next official 250cc test starts at Valencia on January 31.

Jerez 250cc test - day three:

1. Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1min 43.488sec
2. Mike di Meglio Aprilia 1min 44.021sec
3. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 1min 44.264sec
4. Gabor Talmacsi Aprilia 1min 44.266sec
5. Thomas Luthi Aprilia 1min 44.418sec
6. Ratthapark Wilairot Honda 1min 44.524sec
7. Lukas Pesek Aprilia 1min 44.705sec
6. Raffaele de Rosa Honda 1min 44.736sec
9. Hector Faubel Honda 1min 45.252sec



Loading Comments...