Niccolo Antonelli made a lightning start to pre-season testing at Valencia as KTM-powered motorcycles dominated the opening day of running. Antonelli, whose Gresini team have switched to KTM from Honda over the winter, was three tenths quicker than Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jack Miller with the leading Honda 1.3s in arrears.
For Antonelli, today’s performance was a strong statement of intent with the Italian youngster topping all three sessions over the course of the day, all three laps being quicker than anyone else could manage all day. Niccolo admitted he was expecting to be at the sharp end but isn’t getting overexcited yet.
“I am very happy, because after the good impressions obtained at Almeria I expected to be among the fastest here in Valencia, but being on top is always a great feeling! Of course we have to stay calm because we are only at the first day of testing and I am convinced that our rivals will be closer tomorrow. We didn’t make big changes to the bike, just a few refinements, waiting for an improvement of the weather: today the temperatures were always very low, but tomorrow should be warmer”.
Compatriot Romano Fenati is another rider benefitting from a change to KTM machinery having joined the newly formed Sky squad backed by Valentino Rossi. Fenati was third fastest ahead of Isaac Vinales with Danny Kent fifth on his return to the junior class. The Briton is racing for the Red Bull Husqvarna team and although his machine bears the name of the KTM subsidiary company, the bike is of an identical spec to the factory bikes in the Ajo team.
Hafiq Azmi and Enea Bastianini produced fine performances to finish sixth and eighth as they prepare for their first full Grand Prix season, sandwiching the second Sky VR46 KTM of Francesco Bagnaia. The first Honda came next with Efren Vazquez in ninth while title favourites Estrella Galicia 0,0 failed to break the top ten as they gathered data with the new Honda Moto3 machine. Alex Marquez was eleventh quickest while 2013 runner-up Alex Rins could only manage seventeenth.
|MOTO3 OFFICIAL TEST – VALENCIA – 11TH FEBRUARY 2014|
|1||NICCOLO ANTONELLI||KTM||JUNIOR TEAM GO&FUN MOTO3||1:40.000|
|2||JACK MILLER||KTM||RED BULL KTM AJO||1:40.355|
|3||ROMANO FENATI||KTM||SKY RACING TEAM BY VR46||1:40.555|
|4||ISAAC VINALES||KTM||CALVO TEAM||1:40.675|
|5||DANNY KENT||HUSQVARNA||RED BULL HUSQVARNA AJO||1:41.029|
|7||FRANCESO BAGNAIA||KTM||SKY RACING TEAM BY VR46||1:41.167|
|8||ENEA BASTIANINI||KTM||JUNIOR TEAM GO&FUN MOTO3||1:41.202|
|10||MIGUEL OLIVEIRA||MAHINDRA||MAHINDRA RACING||1:41.452|
|11||ALEX MARQUEZ||HONDA||ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0||1:41.502|
|12||KAREL HANIKA||KTM||RED BULL KTM AJO||1:41.526|
|13||ERIC GRANADO||KTM||CALVO TEAM||1:41.605|
|14||ARTHUR SISSIS||MAHINDRA||MAHINDRA RACING||1:41.639|
|15||PHILIPP OETTL||KALEX KTM||INTERWETTEN PADDOCK MOTO3||1:41.702|
|16||LIVIO LOI||KALEX KTM||MARC VDS RACING TEAM||1:41.788|
|17||ALEX RINS||HONDA||ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0||1:41.815|
|18||LUCA GRUNWALD||KALEX KTM||KIEFER RACING||1:41.832|
|19||JAKUB KORNFEIL||KTM||CALVO TEAM||1:41.876|
|20||MATTEO FERRARI||MAHINDRA||SAN CARLO TEAM ITALIA||1:41.983|
|21||BRAD BINDER||MAHINDRA||AMBROGIO RACING||1:42.030|
|22||NIKLAS AJO||HUSQVARNA||AVANT TECNO HUSQVARNA AJO||1:42.169|
|23||JUANFRAN GUEVARA||KALEX KTM||MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM MOTO3||1:42.242|
|24||ANA CARRASCO||KALEX KTM||RW RACING GP||1:42.610|
|25||GABRIEL RAMOS||KALEX KTM||KIEFER RACING||1:42.720|
|27||JULES DANILO||MAHINDRA||AMBROGIO RACING||1:43.283|
|28||SCOTT DEROUE||KALEX KTM||RW RACING GP||1:43.355|
|29||ANDREA LOCATELLI||MAHINDRA||SAN CARLO TEAM ITALIA||1:43.955|
|32||BRYAN SCHOUTEN||MAHINDRA||CIP-MOTO3||NO TIME|