2014 Valencia Moto2 And Moto3 Post-Season Test: Rabat Rules Moto2, Rins Impresses, Antonelli On Top Of Moto3

Tito Rabat continued his rule of the Moto2 class at Valencia by ending the final day of testing on top of the timesheets and under the pole record at the Spanish circuit. The newly-crowned 2014 champion spent all day working on set up of the 2015 Kalex machine he will be riding for the Marc VDS team next season. Rabat finished just ahead of Johann Zarco, the Frenchman adapting quickly to the Kalex frame in the new Ajo Motosport team. Jonas Folger was close behind, starting his second year with the AGR team.

Alex Rins once again won the battle of the rookies, this time by a clear margin. The HP Pons rider adapted quickly, posting an impressive eighth-fastest time, just two thirds of a second off the time of Rabat. Alex Marquez had a rougher time, crashing twice without any injury, other than to his confidence. The reigning Moto3 champion ended the day in twelfth, just over a second behind his Marc VDS teammate Rabat.

In the Moto3 class, Niccolo Antonelli was the fastest of the riders using a transponder, setting a time which exactly matched his pole time from the race weekend at the circuit just ten days ago. Pecco Bagnaia was the second quickest rider, the Mahindra man three tenths behind Antonelli on the Honda. Third fastest on the final day, Karel Hanika led the trio of Red Bull KTM Ajo riders, less than a tenth of a second separating Hanika, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira.

A large contingent of riders rode without a timing transponder, however, keeping their cards close to their chest. Fabio Quartararo continued to work in the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team, while Danny Kent, Efren Vazquez, Romano Fenati, Enea Bastianini and Maria Herrera also continued preparation for 2015 without officially recording a time.

All times courtesy of GPOne.com


Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 Tito Rabat Kalex 1:34.884    
2 Johann Zarco Kalex 1:34.979 0.095 0.095
3 Jonas Folger Kalex 1:35.006 0.122 0.027
4 Luis Salom Kalex 1:35.201 0.317 0.195
5 Xavier Simeon Kalex 1:35.475 0.591 0.274
6 Marcel Schrotter Mistral 1:35.494 0.610 0.019
7 Mika Kallio Kalex 1:35.500 0.616 0.006
8 Alex Rins Kalex 1:35.546 0.662 0.046
9 Franco Morbidelli Kalex 1:35.655 0.771 0.109
10 Axel Pons Kalex 1:35.766 0.882 0.111
11 Julian Simon Speed Up 1:35.907 1.023 0.141
12 Alex Marquez Kalex 1:35.964 1.080 0.057
13 Anthony West Speed Up 1:35.965 1.081 0.001
14 Takaaki Nakagami Kalex 1:36.054 1.170 0.089
15 Ricky Cardus Mistral 1:36.283 1.399 0.229
16 Edgar Pons Kalex 1:36.334 1.450 0.051
17 Hafizh Syahrin Kalex 1:36.341 1.457 0.007
18 Thitipong Warokorn Kalex 1:36.892 2.008 0.551
19 Randy Krummenacher   1:37.019 2.135 0.127
20 Azlan Shah Kalex 1:37.135 2.251 0.116
21 Steven Odendaal Kalex 1:37.498 2.614 0.363
22 Jesko Raffin Kalex 1:37.846 2.962 0.348


Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 Niccol Antonelliò Honda 1:39.183    
2 Francesco Bagnaia Mahindra 1:39.487 0.304 0.304
3 Karel Hanika KTM 1:39.519 0.336 0.032
4 Brad Binder KTM 1:39.533 0.350 0.014
5 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1:39.599 0.416 0.066
6 Juan Guevara Mahindra 1:39.718 0.535 0.119
7 Niklas Ajo Ktm 1:39.901 0.718 0.183
8 Gabriel Rodrigo KTM 1:40.043 0.860 0.142
9 Jules Danilo Honda 1:40.161 0.978 0.118
10 Jorge Martin Mahindra 1:40.191 1.008 0.030
11 Ana Carrasco KTM 1:40.702 1.519 0.511

Press releases from the teams after the test:


The first 2015 winter test session came to an end today at Valencia for the team Gresini Racing Moto3, with Enea Bastianini who was again on track to discover the new Honda NSF250RW that he will use the next season.

After making his debut yesterday aboard the Honda Moto3 machine, today the 16-year-old Italian rider, albeit feverish, completed another 53 laps continuing to work on the bike set-up in order to acquire a better feeling.

The team will be back on track with Bastianini at Almeria on 24th and 25th of November for another two-day test.


“Today we continued to discover this new bike, making some other changes to the set-up in an effort to improve my feeling with the bike. I can be satisfied with the work, because at the end of the day I felt really comfortable. Obviously given that so far I’ve been riding the Honda only for two days, there is still much work to do, also from the riding style side. I had to change the way I ride and the upcoming test at Almeria will be important to improve also from this point of view”.

Rabat smashes the outright lap record at Valencia

Valencia, Spain – 18 November 2014: Tito Rabat was again the fastest rider on the final day of testing at Valencia, with the reigning Moto2 World Champion breaking the outright lap record with a time of 1’34.844.

The Team Estrella Galicia Marc VDS rider declared himself satisfied with the progress he and his crew made with the 2015 Kalex Moto2 machine, which differs significantly from the 2014 version that took Rabat to the World Championship win this season.

Alex Marquez today continued his adaptation to the Kalex Moto2 bike he’ll campaign for Team Estrella Galicia Marc VDS in 2015. The reigning Moto3 World Champion again made a significant step forward, to finish just one second off the time of his more experienced teammate, despite two minor crashes.

Rabat and Marquez now have a few days break from riding, before heading to Almeria for the final test of the 2014 season next week.

Tito Rabat // 1st // 1’34.844

“We’ve had two really productive days here at Valencia and my feeling with the 2015 Kalex is really good. We have tested a lot of things again today, but I’ve also had to adapt slightly my riding style to get more from the bike, and that’s worked well here too. My pace was good, my rhythm was good and my lap time was good, so I’m happy. Now we head to Almeria, where we will continue working to find further imrpovements.”

Alex Marquez // 14th // 1’35.964

“Today we’ve again done some good work, continuing to adapt to the Moto2 bike step by step, which was our goal. The riding style required for Moto2 is very different to that in Moto3. With the small bike you carry a lot of corner speed, but with the Moto2 bike you need to be more aggressive on the brakes, get the bike stopped and then pick it up on the gas. We’re going in the right direction, as can be seen from the fact we’re now only a second from Tito, but the two crashes knocked my confidence a little and building it back up lost us some time. Now we need to continue in the same direction in Almeria, where I hope we can close the gap to Tito even further.”

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal

“Tito has wasted no time adapting to the 2015 Kalex; basically he just jumped on it and was fast straight away, as we pretty much expected him to be. He was under the outright lap record today despite the track temperature being quite cool, so already we can see that the bike has improved and Tito has figured out how to get the best from the improvements. I’m sure he’ll be looking to break his own lap record at Almeria next week too! Alex’s approach to adapting his riding style to our Moto2 bike has been steady and methodical, which is exactly the right way to do it. He has worked with his crew to understand the bike better and we’ve seen him improve his lap time with every exit, so he’s heading in exactly the right direction. As he gets more kilometres under him his confidence will increase and with confidence comes pace.”


Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 completed today in Valencia the first two days of winter testing ahead of the 2015 season: the 25-year-old Belgian rider was able to deepen the knowledge of the Kalex chassis, improving his lap times from yesterday making 70 laps of the Ricardo Tormo circuit.

The next test fot the team is now scheduled at Almeria on 24th and 25th of November.


“We have completed these first two days of testing in a very positive way: our lap times have improved and especially my feeling with the bike has increased a lot. There is still work to do, of course: we don’t know yet very well the Kalex and certainly our experience from this point of view is much less compared to Rabat, for example, but nevertheless we were fast and this is encouraging. We continued to work on the bike set-up trying different solutions and we found some that are good, some not; a very successful experience anyway, that we will continue to do in the upcoming Almeria testing session”.

Bagnaia sets second fastest time at Valencia

MAPFRE Aspar rider returns after missing first day with a stomach virus to complete 67 laps with excellent results

After enduring some disastrous weather last week at Jerez the Moto2 and Moto3 riders were back on track in much more favourable conditions today for more testing at Valencia, where they were joined on track by a handful of Superbikes. The track was open from 10am to 5pm, with specific sessions for the individual classes in the middle of the day. With some teams still to go to Almería and others perhaps to Alcarrás, the Valencia test for the majority of teams represents a final opportunity to make developments before taking a well-earned break for the winter.

Pecco Bagnaia missed the first day of the test because of a stomach virus but the Italian youngster was able to make up for lost time today, clocking up 67 laps and establishing a solid and consistent rhythm, with an impressive best lap time of 1'39.487 – the second fastest of the day. Juanfran Guevara was only three tenths off the pace of his new team-mate, the Spaniard still suffering from a sprain to his right ankle that he suffered in a crash yesterday but able to complete 23 laps today as he evaluated a chassis evolution. MAPFRE Aspar Team rookie Jorge Martín's day got off to a slow start due to a problem with his engine but he was able to get out on track in the afternoon and make some steps forward with general set-up.

Francesco Bagnaia 1.39.487 (67 laps): “We managed to complete a lot of laps today, the majority of them productive. It was a shame I couldn't ride yesterday because of the stomach virus and I still wasn't 100% today. Even though I had a headache I was able to work all day and we gathered a lot of information. I like the bike more every time I ride it and the team is helping me to improve the way I work, so we are all very happy. We are gradually building a solid foundation and hopefully we can continue like this. I have felt comfortable with my technical staff from the very beginning and we are already starting to see the effect of that on track.”

Juanfran Guevara 1.39.718 (23 laps): “We went a little quicker today than we managed yesterday. It was a shame that we crashed yesterday and suffered the sprain because it affected our work today. The good thing is that we were able to test an evolution of the 2014 chassis, more in the direction of what the chassis will be like next year, and it responds well. I feel comfortable on it and it seems like it has a lot of potential. We couldn't ride much because of the injury to my right ankle but we were able to get an idea of what we will be working with next year in terms of the chassis. Even though we didn't manage many laps the feeling was good and now we have to focus on recovering as quickly as possible before the next test.”

Jorge Martín 1.40.191 (28 laps): “Today has been a bit of a strange day. At first the engine wasn't working properly, it was down on power and we couldn't set the lap times we were aiming for. Then after a few laps we had another problem that set us back because we had to stop for a while. Luckily I was able to continue working with Juanfran's bike. I felt comfortable from the start but we only managed a few laps and didn't get too much work done. We made a change to the front to combat the chatter and the results were positive. Every day we are getting faster with this bike so I am happy.”

Johann Zarco enjoys dry track time with Kalex

New Ajo Motorsport Moto2 project complete last two days of testing in Valencia this year, with the Frenchman pleased with feeling.

11/18/2014 - Comunitat Valenciana circuit, Spain

The Ajo Motorsport Moto2 project for 2015, with the competitive collaboration of Kalex and WP Suspension, today completed the stage of the preseason prior to the annual winter break. Johann Zarco was able to refine his setup and draw conclusions in dry conditions. Two days of testing in Valencia served to make for lost track time from last week, when rain disrupted testing in Jerez.

Whilst acknowledging that yesterday he did not ride at his best, the Frenchman finished with a good taste in his mouth on the last day of testing. An important step forward placed him consistently among the fastest in the Moto2 class. This was the fourth day that he had ridden using the Kalex chassis, but this was no impediment to Zarco becoming the second fastest rider of the day. Pleased with his results, he nevertheless recognises that he still has room for improvement.

With the three-day test last week in Jerez and these two days on track in Valencia, the Ajo Motorsport Moto2 project end their track time for 2014. Zarco will not be back onboard the Kalex until after the winter break ends, and will be waiting for the first test of 2015 in February.

Aki Ajo - Team Manager

"Once again, we’ve had two good days of testing in Valencia. Of the five days of testing that we had planned, we have been able to work on four. We can say that this has been a very good start to our new Moto2 project. These have been important days for bringing the team together, and both the staff and the rider are getting to know each other. The results have also been very satisfying. Johann [Zarco] has been very consistent with his work, improving every day and setting amazing lap times.

We still have to continue working, because this is a new project for us, but we have a very good feeling about next season. We have the opportunity to continue working hard during the winter break and arrive at the first test in February even better prepared."

Fabio Quartararo and Maria Herrera debut in Valencia

Both Repsol riders begin preparations for the 2015 preseason, completing two days of testing at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.

Two days of testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit de la Comunitat Valencia saw the debut of Fabio Quartararo as a World Championship rider and the first outing for Repsol rider Maria Herrera with her new team. The French and Spanish riders used these private testing days to accumulate miles and experience with their new bikes. Jorge Navarro must wait to get back onboard his Moto3 machine, as he returned home to rest up after a heavy crash two days ago.

Last Sunday Fabio Quartararo left the Ricardo Tormo circuit victorious in both FIM CEV Repsol races held there, and just a day later the Frenchman began his Moto3 World Championship career at the same track. Quartararo and his new crew completed 127 laps (507km) of the Valencia track, providing the team with valuable information for the development of the bike that they will use next season.

Maria Herrera spent the two days of testing getting used to the new bike with which she will ride in the World Championship in Moto3, and to the crew who will accompany her on this new adventure. The young rider was satisfied with the work done over these two days and with her feeling on the bike ‒which allowed her to set good times from the get-go with her new Moto3 machine.

Fabio Quartararo

"These two days of testing at Valencia have been very productive. The aim was mainly to get to know the crew and test the improvements Honda have made to our bike for the new season. I really liked riding with World Championship riders and seeing my level compared to them on track. The feeling overall has been very good".

Maria Herrera

"I am very happy because this test has been a good introduction to the new bike. Yesterday I felt very comfortable, right from the first laps. The feeling was very good when it came to braking and I could ride fast. Today we focused on getting a good pace going while testing new parts on the bike. Now we will rest a bit and prepare our fitness for the new season ‒and for the tests in February".

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The rookies are looking good, particularly Rins. As expected of Alex, his smooth high corner speed style will not translate right away to the bigger bikes. He needs to slowly transition to a late braking, fast acceleration style in preparation for MotoGP.

The high cornerspeed style has not paid any dividends for Lorenzo either, as the Bridgestone tire's edge life doesn't seem up to par compared to last year. Lorenzo has admitted this, and I'm not sure what his solution will be.

With the domination of the Hondas, it seems that the aggressive late braking style is the way to go. This is probably why Crutchlow and Miller will do well in 2015.

I have been happy to see Ana out there, glad she is joined by Maria. Super cool sub story.

I missed hearing about the Mistral chassis - anyone care to fill me in? Thanks!

Sheesh... didn't realize how many are now running Kalex. Obviously teams will go w/the best chassis, but I liked it when different chassis manufacturers were duking it out like the first 2 years. Suter & Moriwaki are completely out??