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Moto2: Pasini heads Italian 1-2-3 as Valencia Test concludes

Image: MotoGP.com

Mattia Pasini topped the Moto2 test at Valencia with a [1:35].779, just 0.016 ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri and just over a tenth clear of Simone Corsi. Both Baldassarri and Corsi have new teams in 2018, with ‘Iron Balda’ moving to the Pons HP 40 Kalex team and Corsi joining the Tasca Racing Scuderia outfit, whilst Mattia Pasini stays with the Italtrans Kalex squad.

Miguel Oliveira finished 4th on combined time sheets, as he remains a strong title contender in 2018, having won the final four races of the 2017 season. Isaac Vinales was a mighty impressive 5th for the SAG Team, 0.433 behind Pasini at the head of the field.

Hector Barbera – making his Moto2 debut – was 6th on the combined times, as he continues to adapt to Moto2 machinery. Barbera has raced in the intermediate class before, achieving 20 podiums and four wins in 250cc racing before stepping up to MotoGP in 2010.

Marcel Schrötter and new Dynavolt Intact GP teammate Xavi Vierge took P7 and P8 overall, with Vierge seemingly transitioning to the Kalex with ease as he departs the Tech 3 set-up ahead of 2018.

Another rider adapting well was Romano Fenati. The diminutive Italian moves to Moto2 this year with the Marinelli Snipers Team and he was within a second of Pasini’s top time, completing the test in 9th. Fenati’s time in-turn would’ve placed him towards the rear end of the Moto2 grid at last year’s Valencian Grand Prix, however the sessions this week have been continuously interrupted by rain showers.

Brad Binder – Oliveria’s teammate for a second season in Moto2 – starts 2018 in a much better shape than 2017. The South African was just over half a second shy of his teammate but don’t let that fool you, as Binder has a season of Moto2 under his belt and will be in search for his first intermediate class win throughout 2018.

Other notable mentions should go to Fabio Quartararo who was fastest Speed Up in 11th, just ahead of Dutch rookie in 2018, Bo Bendsneyder, who joins Herve Poncheral’s Tech 3 Moto2 organisation for the forthcoming year. Sole-American in the paddock, Joe Roberts, was 13th on the NTS RW Racing machine, ahead of Jorge Navarro, Remy Gardner and teammate Steven Odendaal – the 2016 CEV Moto2 champion.

Stefano Manzi was the top Suter entrance, in 19th, with Forward Racing teammate, Eric Granado in 21st. Dominique Aegerter was down in 23rd as he continues to adapt to the KTM, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin was last, making his Moto2 debut for the SIC Racing Team.

Reigning Moto3 champion Joan Mir was absent from the test, along with teammate Alex Marquez.

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