The sun comes down over Cheste, and the first three-day test for Moto3 and Moto2 teams is over. After day one was ruined by weather, things picked up on day two, while today all riders made the most of good weather, able to improve session after session on the times they set on previous days in what was a first real taste of the 2018 season.
Let's start with Moto2, where Italy flew the flag at the top of the standings. The fastest rider today, and overall, was Mattia Pasini, able to stop the clocks on 1’35”779, despite a crash, followed by just 0.016 by Lorenzo Baldassarri, who proves he's feeling quite at home in team Pons.
Behind them is another Italian, Simone Corsi, who also suffered a crash, closing less than two tenths from the front with the Kalex of team Tasca. It might be too early to say, but Simone appears to be on the right track after the recent difficulties with the Speed Up. Fourth for Miguel Oliveira (+0.367), one of the most serious title contenders, followed closely by Isaac Vinales and Hector Barberà (+0.470), who's getting to grips with the Kalex.
The Spaniard is followed by the Dynavolt team pairing of Schrotter and Verge, while Romano Fenati closes ninth: 0.918 of a second from the front, but closing ahead of more experienced riders such as Brad Binder, tenth, and Fabio Quartararo (11th).
As for Moto3, Jorge Martin has once against shown that last year's win was no fluke. The Spaniard, riding for team Gresini and a clear title contender, closed the day and the test session at the top of the timesheets thanks to a best of 1’39”615.
He is chased down by the Italian contingent, with team Leopard's new recruit Enea Bastianini just 0.095 behind, followed by a surprising Marco Bezzecchi, who moves from the Mahindra to the KTM of team Pruestel. Fourth for another big name, Aron Canet, and fifth for Niccolò Antonelli: the Italian is showing signs of improvement on the Honda of Paolo Simoncelli's team.
Sixth for Philipp Oettl, chased by Tony Arbolino (+0.333), team Snipers' new rider and a good Italian bet for the upcoming season. As is Lorenzo Dalla Porta, riding for team Leopard and 10th today (11th overall), around seven tenths from the front.