Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport Moto3 News
ASPAR Team Moto3, IRTA Jerez De La Frontera Test
Jorge Martín makes major steps towards the front
Aspar Mahindra rider drops lap times to finish eighth fastest, with his team-mate Pecco Bagnaia losing some confidence after two crashes
The second day of testing got off to a slow start at Jerez today, with the Moto3 riders delayed for around half an hour due to fog this morning. Eventually the conditions improved, allowing the pace to increase from yesterday with the best lap around a tenth quicker than the opening day’s benchmark, Romano Fenati posting a 1’46.445. Only half a second covered the top ten riders, proving that Moto3 remains as competitive as ever ahead of the season opener in two weeks’ time. The pace is already inside official circuit records, with one day remaining to see if anybody can beat the Jerez Circuit best lap (1.46.173).
Aspar Mahindra rider Jorge Martín was happy to be one of those riders within half a second of the top today, having improved by almost seven tenths from yesterday. The Spaniard clocked a 1’46.894 during the second session to finish eighth on the combined timesheets, before going on to virtually equal that lap on race rubber later in the afternoon. On the other side of the garage his team-mate Pecco Bagnaia, who made a positive start to the test yesterday, saw his confidence dented today by two crashes, one in each of the opening two track sessions. The Italian is looking forward to getting back on track tomorrow and rebuilding his confidence in the front end before the test concludes.
8º Jorge Martín 1.46.894 (56 laps): “Today was a very positive day. It was a little cold and foggy this morning so we preferred not to ride much, especially because the tyres we had for the first session were quite old. After that we managed to improve the suspension, which was a problem yesterday, and I felt more comfortable. I improved my lap times in the second session but the main thing was to find better consistency and we managed to set a pace in the low to mid 1’47s, which is faster than my pace in last year’s race so that is a good sign for when we come back here this season. My best lap of the day was on soft tyres but this afternoon I almost matched it on race rubber, which is very important. I am happy with our work here, Mahindra have done a great job, especially with the engine braking. We have also tried a new engine and the improvement was clear. Overall it has been a fantastic second day, we get to understand the bike more every time we ride it and the set-up is getting more and more to my liking.”
19º Pecco Bagnaia 1.47.879 (31 laps): “Today has been a tough day for us, having fallen twice this morning, once in the first session and once in the second, both in turn nine. This has made me lose some confidence in the front end. Although this second day was a little strange we know the way to go forward tomorrow, yesterday we found the right way. So tomorrow will be a case of relaxing and working to restore confidence. I will try to be calmer to complete as many laps and, progressively, return to the optimum level that we had when the test began. Fortunately, we know the reason for the crashes, which was because we tried a soft front tyre that didn’t work as we had hoped.”