Toni Elias fastest at first official Moto2 test

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Toni Elias showed why he is a hot favourite to win the inaugural Moto2 world championship after he topped the timesheets on the first day of the opening official test session in Valencia.

The three-day test is the first time that the official Honda engine has been used with an engine being allocated to each rider on a random basis.

Former MotoGP winner Elias posted the best time with a 1.37.530 on a Moriwaki chassis to edge out fellow Spaniard and reigning 125GP world champion Julian Simon.

Simon finished just 0.018s adrift of Elias with American rookie Kenny Noyes in a surprise third.

Riding a British-built Harris chassis for the Jack & Jones squad that has backing from Hollywood A-lister Antonio Banderas, Noyes logged a best time of 1.37.692 to finish 0.162 behind Elias.

Noyes said: “It was good start and we are learning all the time. This Harris chassis is working real good and it is real responsive to changes.

“There is just a little chatter to work on, but as you go faster you start finding new stuff to work through.

“The Honda control engine is good, maybe a little less on top that the kit engines we were using, but good power from mid-range and real smooth and linear all the way to the rev-limiter.

“We tightened the front up a bit today and we’ll see how that works tomorrow. This bike is so different from the big 190 HP Kawasaki 1000cc I raced last year.

“You are on the edge of the front tyre a lot more and corner speed is higher, but what it really fun is the slipstreaming. This is going be a fun class!”

There were several surprises on the opening day with only Tech 3 rider Yuki Takahashi of the established stars able to join Elias and Simon in the top six.

Former MotoGP finisher Alex de Angelis was down in 15th place on the Scot bike while British rider Scott Redding was down in a lowly 25th spot as 37 riders took to the track.

Gloucestershire rider Redding, who is riding for the Marc VDS Racing team using a Suter chassis, clocked a best time of 1.39.782 to finish 2.252s slower than Elias.

1 Toni Elias (Spain) Gresini Racing, Moriwaki: 1:37.530
2 Julián Simon (Spain) Mafre Aspar, RSV: 1:37.548
3 Kenny Noyes (USA) Jack&Jones-Banderas, Harris: 1:37.692
4 Claudio Corti (Italy) Forward Racing, Suter: 1:37.729
5 Vladimir Ivanov (Russia) Gresini Moriwaki: 1:38:040
6 Yuki Takahashi (Japan) Tech3, Tech3: 1:38:089
7 Yonny Hernández (Columbia) Blusens, BQR:1:38:354
8 Karel Abraham(Czech Republic) Cardion, RSV: AB:1:38:644
9 Anthony West (Australia) MZ Racing, MZ: 1:38:662 10 Niccolo Canepa (Italy) Scot Racing, Scot: 1:38:671
25 Scott Redding (GB) Marc VDS Racing, Suter 1.39.782

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt