By Lisa Lewis

The first Moto3 sessions of the season ended with Miguel Oliveira on top of the combined timesheets, leading the way after Thursday evening's practice sessions ahead of Sunday's season opening race under the Qatar floodlights.

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Oliveira, who had also lead the way for most of the first session before being beaten for time by Danny Kent on his final lap, pushed on as a small shower arrived setting the day's fastest time of 2m 06.580 on his penultimate lap just before rain arrived at the Losail track.

British rider Kent, who set the best time in FP1 was the only top ten rider not to improve, with his previous lap of 2m 06.601 good enough to keep his Honda in second place for Leopard Racing after finishing the second session in eighth.

Niccolo Antonelli also impressed as the action got under way, the Ongetta-Rivacold man in consistent form improving his time to finish the second session with the second best time, the third best of the day.

Thursday's fourth fastest rider was Isaac Vinales for Husqvarna Factory Laglisse, with Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Romano Fenati also enjoying early success for KTM in fifth.

Fellow Italian Francesco Bagnaia posted the sixth best lap on his Mapfre Aspar machine.

Fabio Quartararo took his first steps in the World Championship, with Estrella Galicia's much hyped and lauded teenager improving greatly in the second session for seventh overall, the best placed of the rookies, after starting his day in 14th position.

Livio Loi (RW Racing GP) made the most of his Moto3 return taking eighth, ahead of Efren Vazquez on the second of the Leopard Racing bikes in ninth.

Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0), who finished the recent Jerez test on top, completed the top ten.

The Moto3 riders will be looking to near the 2014 pole position record time of 2m 05.973 as the opening weekend of racing progresses.

Britain's other rider in the Moto3 championship, John McPhee, experienced his first dry laps as the 2015 SaxoPrint RTG bike only made its racing debut at the wet Jerez test, altering settings as he placed 22nd overall.

Darryn Binder experienced the first crash of the season, courtesy of a fall in FP1. Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi joined the crash list in FP2.

Ana Carrasco was declared unfit to race at Losail having sustained a collarbone injury on the last day of the final test at Jerez and is replaced at RBA Racing by Belgian Loris Cresson.

San Carlo Team Italia rider Stefano Manzi also misses the first round in Qatar as he does not turn 16 until race day; Marco Bezzechi rides in his place.



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