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Viñales moves ahead in afternoon practice

Viñales moves ahead in afternoon practice

Maverick Viñales set the pace as Moto3™ practice continued at Circuit of the Americas on Friday afternoon. The Team Calvo rider edged out Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins by half a second as Qatar race winner Luis Salom completed the top three.

As a cool breeze blew across Austin, Texas, the teams were pleased to read forecasts of improvements in the ambient temperatures for the remainder of the race weekend. On-track, the chief task was that of learning the meandering 20-turn arrangement.

Viñales, still carrying an injury to his right hand following a crash at the last pre-season test in Jerez, placed himself atop the timesheets with a best effort of 2’18.254. Behind second-placed Rins, Salom was the leading Red Bull KTM Ajo rider from Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira and San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati, who led for a solid chunk of the 40-minute period.

Despite the dusty off-line surface, there were few incidents. Viñales was fleetingly caught out, however, as the Spaniard tumbled at the uphill Turn 1 when overtaking Niccolo Antonelli’s GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 machine. Another rider in the wars was La Fonte Tascaracing’s Hyuga Watanabe, who fell while exiting the Turn 11 hairpin but thankfully sustained no more than a broken gear shifter.

Jonas Folger made the top six for Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3, hoping for a strong weekend after finishing fifth under floodlights in the Qatar season-opener a fortnight ago. Completing this afternoon’s top ten were Ognetta-Centro Seta’s Isaac Viñales, Estrella Galicia’s Alex Marquez, Ambrogio Racing’s Danny Webb and Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller.

Moto3™ will continue with third free practice on Saturday, commencing at 9am local time (GMT -5).


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