Estrella Galicia’s Alex Marquez topped the combined three-day timesheets at the Jerez Moto2 test but was run close by team-mate Franco Morbidelli, who finished second and only a tenth in arrears.
Marquez’s time of 1’41.989, which he posted in today’s opening session, was more than half a second under the existing Jerez pole position record, set by Sam Lowes in 2016.
The 20-year-old Spaniard was scheduled to complete a race simulation this afternoon, but decided to sit out the final Moto2 session due to illness. Márquez was examined in the circuit medical centre, where it was discovered he was running a temperature of 39°C.
“I’m happy with what we’ve achieved here in Jerez over the last three days, despite having to sit out the final session today because I was sick, which meant missing out on the race simulation. Even so, I feel really good on the bike, my confidence was increasing with every exit and I posted my best ever lap at Jerez to finish at the top of the timesheet. Now I need to recover for Qatar, where we need to continue pushing to be ready for the first race of the new season,” said Marquez.
Morbidelli, who beat Márquez to the top spot by just two tenths of a second yesterday, had no answer for his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate today. The 22-year-old Italian had to settle for second place on combined times, but declared himself happy with the progress made over the course of the three days in Jerez
He added: “This has been another positive test for us. We tried a lot of different things on the bike over the course of the three days and I’m really happy with the progress we made here in Jerez. We’ve definitely found some improvements and my feeling with the bike was better with every exit. We are definitely working in the right direction and I’m looking forward to continuing the same process next time out in Qatar.”
Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveria was just 0.017s of a second off his best time of the week - a lap that allowed him to finish third on the final timesheets with a 1’42.333.
“I felt very good on the bike today. After what we had done on the first few days of testing, I wanted to repeat or even improve my lap time. Although we ended up only very close to that, the day ended up being very positive. This can serve as a first impression of how the season will be, with all the riders on track. Now we will go to Qatar with clear ideas, to take on a new circuit where we will have to adapt and solve the problems that we will find as fast as possible in order to be up at the front,” said Oliveria.
Kiefer Racing’s Dominique Aegerter was fourth and 0.347s off the pace while Jorge Navarro, who replaces Lowes in the Gresini Federal Oils team, was fifth on a 1’42.376.
Britain’s Danny Kent ended the test in 12th place and just under eight-tenths off the pace, one ahead of MotoGP exile Yonny Hernandez,
Reigning Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder finished in 24th place as he continues to get used to the Moto2 class.
“I feel great about the bike. We have tried quite a few different things and found some things that work for us. We have kept very steady lap times and although we struggled to go a bit faster, overall everything went well. We tried a lot of things this morning and we have made the bike easier to ride, so we will see how we have evolved at the next test in Qatar,” he said.