Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport Moto3 News
ASPAR Team Moto3, IRTA Jerez De La Frontera Test
Productive first day for ASPAR Team at Jerez test
Pecco Bagnaia centres work on front end of bike before clocking fast late lap, as Jorge Martín looks for rear feeling after setting his best lap early in the day
After a private test for the majority of the Moto2 and Moto3 field at Jerez last week, today was the moment of truth as a three-day official test got underway that promises to reveal who is in competitive shape ahead of the season opener in Qatar in two weeks’ time. As usual the Moto2 and Moto3 classes alternated sessions on track, each lasting a little over an hour, with perfect conditions prevailng throughout the day. The Moto3 riders were the last on track, lapping until 6pm, with the fastest lap of the day coming from Niccolò Bulega with a 1.46.591.
After getting a first taste of their new Mahindra MGP30 machines at Jerez last week, when they were impressed with the extra power from the new engine, the ASPAR Team‘s two riders were back in the saddle today with lots of work to do. Jorge Martín and Pecco Bagnaia have both been working to find a base set-up for their new bikes, with the extra horsepower requiring adjustments to the chassis. Jorge and Pecco have spent the day trying to find the right balance between the engine and the chassis, with Pecco working mainly on the front end of the bike before fitting a soft tyre to set a fast lap (1.47.447) at the end of the day. Conversely, Jorge set his best lap (1.47.510) early in the day on race rubber, with his work interrupted by a small crash in turn nine, from which he escaped unhurt.
9º Pecco Bagnaia 1.47.447 (54 laps): “Today has been a very positive day for us, we have improved in the fast corners and it is easier for me to hold my line, which is a step forward from the last test. We have been working a lot on the front end but we have realised that as the rear tyre starts to wear we get a lot of sliding. We will work on improving this tomorrow. In the last run we managed to get a little extra out of the new tyre and I was able to set a good lap time. We tried to maintain a strong pace on used rubber today and in the end we were able to set the fast lap on new rubber. Having said that, in my opinion there is not a great difference between the medium and the soft tyres.”
11º Jorge Martín 1.47.510 (53 laps): “We started the day quite well but then we ran into some problems as the temperatures rose. Also in the afternoon I didn’t feel as comfortable, we’re not sure why, I just lost some feeling opening the gas on the exit of the slow corners. Anyway, we have worked hard all day to improve and the positive thing is that we have made progress since last week, so we have to keep working to find a better feeling with the rear. We are still not sure about the soft tyre so our best lap today came on a race tyre, which is positive. Today we worked with the old gearbox but we’ll try the new one again tomorrow.”