Maverick Vinales got his 2013 campaign off to the ideal start by dominating the opening day of official testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia. The Spaniard failed to live up to his favourite tag last season as mistakes, unreliability and inter-team politics derailed his challenge but the 18 year old looks set to start as favourite again based on current form.
One of Vinales’ complaints in 2012 was what he perceived to be the underpowered FTR-Honda at his disposal. The Spaniard has subsequently left Blusens Avintia, moving to ride the class-leading KTM for the Laglisse team and he declared himself happy with his new machinery after clocking a 1:40.715 to top the timesheets.
With reigning Moto3 champion Sandro Cortese graduating to Moto2, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team is now led by Luis Salom, runner-up to the German last year, and Salom finished a tenth of a second behind Vinales, the only man to join the pacesetter in the 1:40s. The factory squad were among those to test out a new lighter chassis from KTM and with the top four riders all boasting that equipment, it certainly looks like the motorcycle to be on.
The other two frontrunners on board KTMs were Alex Rins of Estrella Galicia 0’0, one of the teams to switch chassis/engine suppliers over the winter, and Zulfahmi Khairuddin who will partner Salom and Arthur Sissis at Ajo. Jonas Folger was fifth for Aspar ahead of the revelation of 2012, Romano Fenati while Jakub Kornfeil took seventh on his Kalex-KTM. Efren Vazquez gave Mahindra a welcome boost ahead of the new season by ending the day in eighth, suggesting the partnership with Suter may prove to be a fruitful one, although teammate Miguel Oliveira was a lowly 27th.
The rookies entering the class are always the source of much excitement and Ana Carrasco was the quickest of the newcomers on Tuesday, finishing an impressive twelfth on her Laglisse KTM. Reigning Red Bull Rookies champion Florian Alt made a quiet start in 28th with his predecessor Lorenzo Baldassarri up in seventeenth, the third quickest rookie behind Matteo Ferrari.
|Moto3 Valencia Test: Combined Classification – Tuesday 12th February|
|1||25. Maverick Vinales||JHK t-shirt Laglisse||1:40.715|
|2||39. Luis Salom||Red Bull KTM Ajo||1:40.871|
|3||42. Alex Rins||Estrella Galicia 0’0||1:41.304|
|4||63. Zulfahmi Khairuddin||Red Bull KTM Ajo||1:41.788|
|5||94. Jonas Folger||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3||1:42.093|
|6||5. Romano Fenati||San Carlo Team Italia||1:42.432|
|7||84. Jakub Kornfeil||Redox RW Racing GP||1:42.460|
|8||7. Efren Vazquez||Mahindra Racing||1:42.587|
|9||61. Arthur Sissis||Red Bull KTM Ajo||1:42.690|
|10||12. Alex Marquez||Estrella Galicia 0’0||1:42.967|
|11||32. Isaac Vinales||Bimbo-Ongetta-Centro Seta||1:42.975|
|12||22. Ana Carrasco||JHK t-shirt Laglisse||1:43.037|
|13||41. Brad Binder||Ambrogio Racing||1:43.178|
|14||8. Jack Miller||Caretta Technology-RTG||1:43.166|
|15||99. Danny Webb||Ambrogio Racing||1:43.178|
|16||3. Matteo Ferrari||Ongetta-Centro Seta||1:43.179|
|17||77. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Team Go & Fun Honda Gresini||1:43.448|
|18||58. Juan Francisco Guevara||CIP||1:43.524|
|19||9. Toni Finsterbusch||Kiefer Racing||1:43.563|
|20||31. Niklas Ajo||Avant Tecno||1:43.594|
|21||89. Alan Techer||CIP||1:43.747|
|22||53. Jasper Iwema||RW Racing GP||1:43.900|
|23||57. Eric Granado||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3||1:43.937|
|24||17. John McPhee||Caretta Technology-RTG||1:44.026|
|25||11. Livio Loi||Marc VDS Racing Team||1:44.183|
|26||65. Philipp Oettl||Paddock TT Motion Events||1:44.184|
|27||44. Miguel Oliveira||Mahindra Racing||1:44.357|
|28||66. Florian Alt||Kiefer Racing||1:44.672|
|29||4. Francesco Bagnaia||San Carlo Team Italia||1:44.972|
|30||10. Alexis Masbou||Ongetta-Rivacold||1:45.230|
|31||29. Hyuga Watanabe||Team La Fonte Tascaracing||1:47.255|
|32||19. Alessandro Tonucci||Team La Fonte Tascaracing||2:06.947|