Just as at the opening test of the year in Valencia, Maverick Vinales was the only non-KTM rider in the top seven at last week's Jerez Moto3 test.

The Avintia Racing FTR-Honda rider, second to factory KTM rider Sandro Cortese at Valencia, was runner-up to Cortese's team-mate Danny Kent by 0.4sec at Jerez.

Vinales, a triple race winner during his rookie 125cc season, continues to feel that the KTMs have the edge in terms of horsepower, but that the gap is closing.

"The important thing is that we have improved our chassis setup a lot and also made steps forward with the engine. The latter aspect is what we should most be looking at improving, but we are on the right path," he said.

"I think that we have been putting down some decent lap times. We are less than a second off the 125cc lap record. During the next test in March we will attempt to improve further and get closer to the record - or even break it.

"The competition is tough and there is always someone riding fast, so I hope that we can keep up with the KTMs. Now we have a few weeks in which we will not be riding, so it will be a time for working on fitness in order to return strong to Jerez and test what remains to be improved before Qatar".

Team Laglisse's Efren Vasquez was the second-best Honda rider, in eighth, 1.6sec from Kent.