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Moto3: Perfect start for Vinales, KTM

15 February 2013

Maverick Vinales put a chaotic off-track conclusion to last season firmly behind him by leading all three days at the Valencia test, on his new factory KTM machinery.

Vinales won five races on an FTR-Honda in the first half of last season, but relations with the Avintia team later deteriorated to the point of a one-round walk out at Sepang.

The Spanish teenager returned for the final rounds, then signed a deal for factory KTM machinery at Laglisse this year.

Vinales came out firing for 2013 by setting the standard on all three days at Valencia, culminating in a best Thursday lap time almost two-seconds under Jonas Folger's pole pace at last November's Grand Prix.

An all-KTM, and all-Spanish, top three was completed by Alex Rins (+0.286s) and Luis Salom (+0.370s).

Folger was 0.751s from Vinales on Aspar's Kalex KTM combination, with Australian Jack Miller the only Honda-powered rider within one-second of Vinales.

Further back, the new Suter-built Mahindra was an impressive eighth and tenth in the hands of new riders Efren Vazquez and Miguel Oliveira respectively.

The second of the three official Moto2/Moto3 pre-season tests will be held at Jerez from February 19-21.


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