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Antonelli remains on top in Valencia

Antonelli remains on top in Valencia

Italy’s Niccolo Antonelli continued to top the timesheets as Moto3™ pre-season testing resumed in Valencia on Wednesday.

It was the second of three days at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, with much warmer conditions allowing the riders to concentrate more on their programmes. Once again, it was Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3’s Antonelli atop the pile – now reducing the best lap time of the test to 1’39.454 as he focused mostly on suspension work.

KTM-entered riders locked out all positions in the top seven bar one. Jack Miller was second for Red Bull KTM Ajo, attempting to improve his front feeling in a bid to enjoy more corner speed. In third, however, was the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo entry of Danny Kent as the Moto3™ returnee searched for a more effective base setup from which he could aim to improve his corner stability, on both entry and exit.

Although it is still too early to read into true pace, Sky Racing Team by VR46 continued to impress as Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia occupied positions four and six. This time, both Italians looked into engine-related electronics as well as suspension configurations. It appeared to be an equally positive day for Antonelli’s team-mate Enea Bastianini, as the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup graduate ended proceedings in seventh position.

It was a tougher time, however, for the reigning Rookies Cup Champion as Karel Hanika took a trip to the Clinica Mobile as well as to a doctor in Valencia. This followed a crash on his final lap of Tuesday in which he injured his right hand; as a result, he Czech managed no more than three laps today and was relegated to the role of spectator. He hopes to be able to resume running on the third and final day.

The leading Honda was that of Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins, in ninth place, as he and team-mate Alex Marquez switch from KTM to the new Honda Moto3™ machine for 2014. In the meantime the quickest Mahindra was eighth, with Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira at the helm; the Portuguese rider concentrated on both suspension settings and engine mapping, with the new Mahindra being a generally lighter machine with more distinctive aerodynamics. Its new exhaust is also visually striking.

Moto3™ action continues from 10am local time (GMT +1) on Thursday.

See full Moto3™ times from Day 2 of 3

Moto3, 2014

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