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Viñales quickest in Mugello test session

Viñales quickest in Mugello test session

Following a single day of post-race Mugello testing for Moto2™, it was the turn of the Moto3™ field on Tuesday as championship leader Maverick Viñales led the way.

The positive news in the morning was sunshine at the picturesque Tuscan venue, after the previous day had brought several rainstorms. Tuesday would not be all-dry either, as a shower did come at 2pm, although the race track soon dried out.

Both Viñales’ Team Calvo outfit and Estrella Galicia 0,0 - both running KTM machinery - concentrated on bike setup as Red Bull KTM Ajo divided the workload amongst its riders; Luis Salom and Zulfahmi Khairuddin carried out back-to-back comparisons between the current chassis and an updated version, also delving into suspension settings and various engine maps. Also on an Austrian-made KTM bike, Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo focussed primarily on the geometry of his frame.

At Mahindra Racing, the team remained on a high after Miguel Oliveira had achieved the outfit’s best ever fourth place finish in the race 48 hours earlier. Today’s plan featured a raft of components ranging from aerodynamic upgrades to the frame and engine to suspension. Oliveira’s injured teammate Efren Vazquez remained on the sidelines and was covered for by Italian Michael Rinaldi.

GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 concentrated on engine updates, brought by the team itself as opposed to Honda, as team owner Fausto Gresini confirmed that the objective was to find more horsepower. Also powered by Honda but with an FTR chassis, San Carlo Team Italia experimented with a new swingarm. Red flags would fleetingly break up the day, with Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins and La Fonte Tascaracing’s Hyuga Watanabe (assessing chassis enhancements) amongst the fallers; the latter was momentarily knocked unconscious and taken to hospital for check-ups, but was allowed to leave in the evening and is expected to be fit to take part in the next race.

Some in the paddock were surprised to see Belgian rookie Livio Loi, who had not been set to run but elected to look into setup changes on his Marc VDS Racing Team bike in a bid to improve confidence levels after a difficult race on Sunday. CIP Moto3’s Juanfran Guevara - testing new rear shock absorbers and electronics - suffered a pair of crashes within four hours of each other, whereas frame geometry was top priority for Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger and Eric Granado.

On the timesheets, Folger and Viñales traded top times for much of the test (running from 9am-6pm local time, GMT+2) until the latter posted his final leading best of 1’57.889 in the penultimate hour.

See the full timesheets for Moto3™ testing at Mugello on Tuesday

Moto3, 2013

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