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Viñales tops opening practice at Sepang

Maverick Viñales led the way as Moto3™ kicked off proceedings at a dry but sweltering Sepang International Circuit on Friday. The only rider to duck under the 2’15.000 barrier, the Team Calvo rider headed Ongetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou and Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller.

Early doors, the general surprise was that KTM bikes were headed for much of the opening half of the session by FTR Honda and Mahindra machines. However, by the time the chequered flag flew, title contender Viñales has moved ahead with his best effort of 2’14.961, edging out Masbou and Miller (both on FTR Hondas) by one tenth of a second. Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins and Mahindra Racing’s Efren Vazquez rounded out the top five.

Championship leader Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completed his morning in sixth position, half a second down on Viñales, while there was an early upset for Rins’ teammate Alex Marquez who crashed at Turn 10; the brother of MotoGP™ World Championship leader Marc was not injured, but unable to rejoin the session due to bike damage.

Having been cleared to race following a medical check-up after his crash in Aragón, local star Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) began his weekend in 20th place, having missed out on victory in last year’s race by just 28 thousandths of a second.

Second Moto3™ practice begins at 1:10pm local time (GMT +8).

Tags:
Moto3, 2013, FP1

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