Avintia Racing's Maverick Vinales is looking ahead to this weekend's 'special' race in front of his home fans at Jerez.

Vinales made a victorious start in the inaugural Moto3 race in Qatar, reeling in young Italian rider Romano Fenati before pulling away to take the chequered flag by 4.3 seconds on the FTR Honda.

He heads to Jerez as the championship leader and admits Sunday's race will be extra special as it represents the first time in his career that he has raced as a world championship leader.

Vinales, who won four races in the 125cc class in 2011 on his way to third place overall, said: "The Spanish Grand Prix is always special. You are riding at home, you feel the support of the crowd and your motivation goes up a notch.

"This year is going to be even more special, because for the first time in my life I head to a Grand Prix as the World Championship leader.

"To be doing that at Jerez, you couldn't ask for more," he added. "The track is technical and combines slow and fast turns, but is well suited to my riding style."

Vinales acknowledges that the new season remains in its infancy, but already he striving to become a model of consistency as he attempts to secure the world crown.

"In testing just before Qatar we were fast here and established a fairly good setup, which gives us optimism ahead of this race. The season has only just begun, there are many races to go and it will be difficult to keep our form up all season," he said.

"I can't wait to soak up the great atmosphere of this race and to try and gain the good result that allows us to maintain a strong position in the standings."

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