Jake Dixon finished the opening day of official 2019 Moto2 testing 18th fastest out of the 32 riders on track at Jerez.

The Angel Nieto Team KTM rider, switching to grand prix from BSB, set a best lap time 1.161s from leader Luca Marini (Kalex) despite missing most of the final session due to a fall.

The spill occurred when Dixon was caught-out by a bike change on corner entry and, although unharmed by the fast Turn 11 accident, he was forced to watch the remainder of the Wednesday action from the sidelines.

But that also proved useful, with the Englishman picking up some ideas to try on day two.

"We've been trying many things to find a direction that I'm comfortable with. Unfortunately, in the last session I had a bit of a slide off, but I felt like generally the changes that we made were for the better," Dixon said.

"But we didn't quite assess the situation right with corner entry, so it made quite a big problem when I rode and unfortunately it ended in a crash, which wasn't ideal but at least we know why we crashed and what the problem was.

"It was just because we ran [engine braking] a bit too 'free' on entry and, not really liking that way of riding, it caused me to lose the front through turn 11. Which is a pretty fast corner.

"Luckily the bike wasn't too bad. We didn't get out for the rest of the session, but it was quite good in a way because I was able to watch around the track just to see what other people are doing and it was a help in a few areas.

"Hopefully I can take that to the track tomorrow and keep learning.

"I think tomorrow will be good because we can start with the base that we've got and then change the things that we need to change."

After trailing Kalex at the November test, KTM has worked hard over the winter break with plenty of new parts for factory Ajo team leader Brad Binder.

The South African was fast throughout the day, although a late lap by Iker Lecuona put the Spaniard top KTM, in second, with Binder in fourth.

"KTM are forever growing and it's nice to see because they are obviously really passionate about the sport and want to be the best in all classes," Dixon said. "Brad's obviously going to be one of the title contenders this year. It shows what can be done on the bike, given time. So it's good."

Comparing the 765cc Triumph Moto2 power with his former BSB machine and wild-card outings on the previous 600cc Honda Moto2 engine, Dixon added:

"This bike is actually really nice to ride. It's got a lot of torque, accelerates really well and it doesn't feel too slow in a straight line compared to the Honda engine, which was really slow, really noticeable.

"Now it doesn’t actually feel that big a difference [compared to BSB] but there is obviously a lot to learn. It's just mainly getting used to everything."

Team-mate Xavi Cardelus was 31st fastest.

Moto2 and Moto3 testing continues at Jerez on Thursday and Friday.

 

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