The opening test of the season at Valencia proved a washout for the Marc VDS Moto2 squad, as intermittent rain left Tito Rabat and Alex Marquez sat in the pit box for two of the three days.
The two reigning World Champions each completed 50 laps on the opening day, but with the track temperature never rising above 14 degrees centigrade, the opportunity to test anything meaningful was severely limited.
Third on the timesheet at the end of the opening day, Rabat declared himself satisfied with his first day back at work, despite three crashes in the tricky conditions. Moto2 rookie Marquez ended the first day in 26th position but was left frustrated as the deteriorating weather conditions meant he was unable to continue his familiarisation with the Kalex Moto2 bike he’ll race this season.
Both Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders were set to test again this afternoon, but the persistent rain left the track fully wet for the first time and the circuit was closed after a Moto3 rider dropped oil from turn one through to turn four.
Rabat, who posted a best lap of 1min .35.145 sec, said: “The first day was very positive for me, despite the cold conditions. I was so fast and consistent from the start and, on the hard tyre, I was able to match the pole time from last year in only the second session. The second day was half dry, half wet and very cold, so there was no sense to take a big risk and ride. Today we had full wet conditions and we were ready to test, but then one of the Moto3 riders dropped oil on the track so, once again, we were left sitting in the pit box. Now I want to get back into my routine before heading next week to Jerez, where I hope we have better weather.”
Alex Marquez suffered from a lack of track time and finished the test in 26th place. He said: “At the beginning of my first year in Moto2 I need as much track time as possible, especially as my feeling with the bike wasn’t so good after crashing during a shakedown test in Almeria last week. I need to start enjoying myself on the bike again, because this is when the lap times come, and I need to recover again the good feeling. Unfortunately the weather here at Valencia meant I didn’t get a chance to do that, as I only really had one day on the bike. Now we head for three more days of testing at Jerez where, with better weather forecast, we should be able to make up for the lost track time here.”
The team now head for the second test of the season, which gets underway on Tuesday of next week at Jerez.