Vinales, Oliveira and Rins conclude productive test at Jerez and ready for the season
With the 2012 World Championship getting closer every day, the final day of the preseason served as a litmus test for the opening races of the year. It was also a time for the teams to put the finishing touches to their work and leave their bikes in the best possible condition for a solid debut. Without the strong wind of Tuesday, activity began at Jerez at 10am. Temperatures on track of 21ºC greeted the riders. Miguel Oliveira and Maverick Viñales were two of the first out, swiftly followed by Alex Rins, debuting the Suter with which he will compete this year.
Viñales continued with his work with a focus on the first race, trying out different exhausts for his FTR Honda in order to add some extra km/h and push his acceleration. Improving upon his lap times for the third consecutive day, the Repsol rider even put in various laps under the 1’47 mark. His best time was a 1’46.838 lap.
In the same session, shared with the Moto2 riders who subsequently vacated the track at 2pm, Oliveira racked up 50 laps and fine-tuned the setup of his Suter bike. His best time as 1’48.310, three tenths faster than teammate Alex Rins. The Spanish 125GP champion debuted his new Suter today, having spent various days recuperating from a troublesome shoulder injury and picking up speed on the Honda. The rookie completed more than 40 laps, in which he clocked a best lap of 1’48.610 and placed eleventh on the timesheet.
In the final session of the preseason —between 3pm and 4pm— Viñales decided to sit it out and reflect on the positive test. Miguel Oliveira and Alex Rins put in 17 and 20 laps, respectively. The Portuguese rider placed sixth with a 1’48.245 lap, whilst his teammate was eighth with his 1’48.350 time. In the combined classification from the three days they finished eighth and ninth, with Viñales leading the way.
The Jerez test closed the preseason for the new Moto3 class, which makes its official debut at the Losail Circuit in Qatar in just under three weeks time.
Maverick Viñales 1.46.838, 31 laps, 137 km.
“Above all today we were working on our tyre choices and on our chassis configuration. We found a setting that allowed us to go fast as a result. We have also been trying out various exhausts at this test and we can now say that we have found the definitive one. We were able to clock a fast time on the last run, which was more difficult yesterday because of the strong wind.
Conditions were better today and we managed to drop our times. We have everything clear ahead of the first race, we know what we are going to do in every practice and the aim will be to adapt to the circuit as soon as possible and be fast”.
Miguel Oliveira 1:48.245, 67 laps, 296 km.
“We rounded off the three days of testing today and I think that they have been productive for everyone. Today was the day in which I put in the most laps, because the track temperatures were favourable for us and we were improving on our times from the previous two runs.
We continued working along the same lines for the entire test and focused on fast laps. I think that we have a good pace and should approach Qatar with the calmness that comes from a job well done”.
Álex Rins 1:48.350, 60 laps, 265 km.
“I am very satisfied. We had the chance to ride with the Suter chassis today and I really enjoyed it. I think that we have done a good job of adapting and went quite fast right from the start. I want to thank the team especially today, as they were hard at work yesterday until very late.
If I had to sum up these three days I would say that they were very positive, which is important when we get to the first race of the season. We are focused on Qatar and I am going to be working hard on my fitness in order to get my shoulder back to 100%”.
Source: Repsol Media