Moto2: Marini and Lowes leads the way on Triumph debut

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Luca Marini and Brit Sam Lowes have topped the time sheets after three days of testing with Triumph’s new Moto2 engines at Jerez. Setting their fastest times on the second day of the rain-struck test and despite being unable to attempt to go faster again on day three, both are well under the Honda lap record at the track and only half a second from the fastest ever lap of the circuit using one of the old Moto2 engines.

And despite having much still to do in developing the British engines, Lowes says he can come away happy after finishing only a quarter of a second behind Marini and clear of Alex Marquez in third.

“It’s been a real positive test because we could work on many things. The first, of course, was to get used to the new engine and the new bike. I immediately felt good with all the team and the new engine is very nice, the character is completely different from the Honda so you have to ride the bike in different way, but we are working on it. We have a precise plan on what to work on for the next test to improve the bike. Second overall and with good feelings. It was a very positive test and a big thumb up for the engine, so is going to be an interesting season with nice races!”

However, it was a more difficult test for KTM, with the best of their riders Brad Binder ending up in 13th and new Moto3 world champion Jorge Martin recovering from a series of injuries. Suffering with severe chatter from their bike, it didn’t make life easy for Brit rookie Jake Dixon who finished 28th overall despite topping one of Sunday’s wet sessions.

“It was a good day overall. Finishing top in the rain is really good, but the next target will be to go top in the dry. The main thing today was to work on finding a good riding position. We have to improve our corner entry in the dry, because in the wet we have a very good feeling. We’ve had a good test, the team have done a good job and I can’t wait to get back on the bike -although now we will have to wait until 2019.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer