The new Moto3™ category debuted on day one at Losail as a new era in the World Championship began, and it was last year’s 125cc Rookie of the Year Maverick Viñales (Blusens Avintia) who was the leading rider in both sessions.
Viñales topped the second practice session – in which all riders set their best time – with a time of 2’08.160, which left him 0.498s clear of second place, as the talented young Spaniard set a scorching marker for the rest of the field.
Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Airasia-SIC-Ajo) led the charge behind Viñales with a time of 2’08.658, with Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Danny Kent putting a problematic first session behind him in which he had technical issues to time in third quickest at 2’08.967.
Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0’0) was the last rider under 2’09” with an effort of 2’08.979, and his rookie team-mate Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0’0) rounded off an impressive day by placing fifth in the order. With his time of 2’09.107 Rins was the last rider to get within a second of leader Viñales.
Sandro Cortese (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Alberto Moncayo (Bankia Aspar Team), Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany), Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar Team) and Niccolò Antonelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Moto3) completed the top 10 on a day on which the Moto3 class made its World Championship bow.
The action resumes at 6pm local time on Friday, when the MotoGP riders head out on track for the second practice session. All categories will then complete their third and final practice, before qualifying commences on Saturday.