Moto3: Bulega tops rain-hit Jerez test

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Nicolò Bulega has topped two days of Moto3 testing at Jerez, finishing the two-day outing in good form as he sets up a year in which he starts the series as one of the favourites for Valentino Rossi’s Team Sky VR46 team.

"We close in the best way these first two tests of the 2017 season. I was fast and competitive in Valencia and here in Jerez, a very demanding track, and this is an extra injection of confidence for the upcoming testing sessions. We have done an important step forward, and I was able to push as I wanted. We still have a lot to do, but I hope to continue in this direction.”

The team marked a big day for the Italian outfit, with Bulega and Moto3 teammate Andrea Migno joined on track by the team’s new Moto2 counterpart Francesco Bagnaia, even if teammate Stefano Manzi was forced to sit out the test thanks to injury.

And team boss Pablo Nieto says that he’s pleased with the progress made so far by his four-man squad.

"The balance of these first two private tests can only be positive. We made our best in Valencia and Jerez, and we had the opportunity for testing in wet conditions yesterday. Nicolò and Andrea were immediately competitive, even on this track that it is one of the most demanding of the calendar, and this is certainly an important thing.

“Also Pecco, who is continuing his approach to the new category, and the new Moto2 Team have made a significant step forward. Stefano suffered a sprained to his left knee - after a crash in Valencia on last Sunday - and he was forced to return to Italy for starting the rehabilitation as soon as possible".

The team’s next outing will be next month in Jerez, when they’ll be joined by the rest of the Moto2 and Moto3 grids for the first official test of 2017.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer