After running a single entry for Khairul Idham Pawi last season, the all-new line-up of Xavi Vierge and Jake Dixon will make their Petronas Moto2 race debuts in Qatar this weekend.

Although new to the team, Vierge is already familiar with the Kalex chassis, which he rode to two podiums as a Marc VDS rider in last year's championship.

The Spaniard was eleventh fastest but only 0.572s from the top during the final pre-season test in Qatar.

"I’m really happy with the 2020 pre-season, from November until last weekend here in Qatar. I felt excellent with my new crew and team. Every day I was on the bike I felt better, so everything has been positive," said Vierge, who qualified second at Qatar last year and finished tenth in the race.

"We’ve completed all the pre-season plans with positive feelings. We did a great job with good results in the race simulations and time-attacks. I’m really looking forward to the first race this Sunday because this is a special and unique round that I like a lot.

"We need to go racing but we need to also keep our emotions and our minds clear. The Championship is really long so the first priority is to finish the race. Of course, we want the best result possible."

Dixon sustained a finger injury during the opening official test of the year at Jerez.

Although it prevented him from completing his planned testing programme, the Brit was back on track for the final test in Qatar, where he set the 27th fastest lap time (+1.610s) as he continues to adapt to the Kalex after a rookie grand prix season on the KTM frame.

"Maybe it’s true that the Qatar test wasn’t as good as expected for me, because I still need to adapt to the bike, but this was the only thing," said Dixon, who crashed out of last year's season-opener for Aspar.

"Luckily, I’m not worried because I know where I need to improve, and how to do it, and then I just need more laps on the bike.

"I really like this round and the circuit, so what we have to do is to keep working hard on the Free Practices to arrive as prepared as possible on race day.

"Due to the MotoGP race cancellation we will race later in the evening, so we will have to adapt to the cooler conditions. Hopefully we will have a good weekend."

Moto2 will take over MotoGP's slot as a night race this weekend, having originally been scheduled to take place in late afternoon.

 

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