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Valencia Test unleashes new 125cc crop

Valencia Test unleashes new 125cc crop

Spanish talent Maverick Viñales and Portuguese prospect Miguel Oliveira impressed greatly at the first Test of the year, the two CEV Buckler graduates being amongst the fastest riders.

The excitement of pre-season grew for the 125cc class last week with the first Test of the year at Valencia, which concluded on Saturday. Aside from the experienced players there were two names in particular that stood out on the timesheet on all three days, those of World Championship 2011 rookies Maverick Viñales and Miguel Oliveira.

Spanish fans may already be familiar with the duo but for many of those outside the country the emergence of the pair will have been a welcome addition to the list of riders to watch in 2011.

Viñales, the 2010 CEV Buckler (Spanish 125cc National Championship) and European 125cc Champion, was inside the top three on all three days, and with his best effort on Saturday of 1’40.1 was just a tenth off last year’s World Championship runner-up Nico Terol.

“I’ve adapted to the bike very quickly and I’m very happy because I’ve felt extremely comfortable throughout the three days,” said the talented 16 year-old, who this year rides for the PEV-Blusens-SMX Paris Hilton Team. “I’ve been riding with the world’s best, setting similar times and feeling very much at home riding amongst them.”

“It’s been a very positive start. If we continue in this manner we can be very competitive and I’d like to be fighting with those at the front. Of course it’s a bit too early to be setting ourselves goals because this is my first season in the World Championship, and it’s only just the beginning.”

Oliveira was Viñales’ main rival in the Spanish and European Championships in 2010, finishing runner-up in both and taking the CEV Buckler battle to the final race of the season. The Portuguese, who is also 16 years old, registered a best lap of 1’40.4 on Friday as he also served notice of his undoubted potential.

“We arrived in Valencia with the aim of starting work on our bike for the World Championship, and on day one we focused on finding our rhythm and working on the tuning of the bike, and we still managed to set good times,” said the Andalucia Cajasol rider. “The second day of work saw us improve our times and we saw very good results which put us very near the top riders. Like all riders, such as those coming down from Moto2, we need a little more time to find our respective levels and when the season starts they will be higher.”

“To be in the World Championship is very special, but my focus is on my job of getting results and I won’t be distracting myself with who the other riders are. So far this has helped me to get good results.”

The duo are continuing their preparations for their debut World Championship campaigns at Oliveira’s home track of Estoril, in the second Test which commences today (Tuesday) and also lasts for three days.

125cc, 2011, Maverick Viñales, Miguel Oliveira, Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing, Andalucia Banca Civica

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