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
Pos Rider Nat Team Best Time
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