14/02/2018, Jerez

The circuit of Jerez de la Frontera hosted the second IRTA test ahead of the beginning of the 2018 Moto3 World Championship. The mild temperatures and sunny weather meant that it was finally possible to work on the bike setting and on race simulations. Rodrigo and his crew focused mainly on long runs, in order to maintain a high performance at the end of the race. Masaki continued his adaptation to the 2018 KTM machine, making a steady progression on the last day.

#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 12th - 1'46.238 [combined standings]
"Eventually the weather was quite decent and we could take advantage of these three days of testing. I'm happy because we could put together some very useful information. What matters the most is that we improved the pace riding on my own on long runs and on used tyres. I believe this is a factor with which we struggled in the past, in particular on this track. If here you manage to be strong, it's easier to be competitive also in circuits that aren't as harsh on the tyres. We have a solid rhythm and this was our main objective. It's easier to be consistent if you can count on improvements that confirm a competitive performance of the bike on long runs: after these three days at Jerez, I think we achieved that. Now we have a set-up base which is pretty good and we can start working on all the minor details during the upcoming test in Valencia. For the last IRTA test at Jerez we'll try to find the limits to score fast laps, in order to see where we can push the bike to its limit. Right now we are already thinking about the next time out on track."

#22 Kazuki Masaki: 25th - 1'47.309 [combined standings]
"In the first two days of this test we worked mainly on the setting. Since we were trying various options, I couldn't focus on the improving my time, because I was paying a lot of attention to the performance and reactions of my KTM. We gathered a lot of information. Eventually in yesterday's last session we moved on and just switched to putting in laps. We went on following this line also today, and the sessions were good: our lap times were consistent and it felt easier on top of my bike. We also managed to do a long run. Now we wait for the next test to keep improving, step by step."