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Danny Kent’s aim to become Moto3™ World Champion got off to the perfect start as he tops FP1 ahead of Viñales and Ono.
Leopard Racing’s Kent bid to become the first British World Champion since Barry Sheene in 1977 got off to a great start at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana as he topped Friday morning’s Free Practice 1. The British rider, who holds a 24-point lead over Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira heading into the final race, set a 1’39.930 in cool but sunny conditions at the Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo circuit. Kent’s time was impressive in the cooler conditions and was less than a second off Jack Miller’s Moto3™ Lap Record at the circuit (1’39.068) from last year.
This was good enough to finish 0.036s ahead of RBA Racing Team’s Isaac Viñales in second in an incredibly close session that saw less than a second separate the top 22 riders. Kent’s teammate Hiroki Ono (+0.085s) was third fastest, ahead of the third Leopard Racing Honda of Efren Vazquez (+0.093s).
Ongetta-Rivacold’s Niccolo Antonelli (+0.228s) ended the session in fifth ahead of Estrella Galicia 0,0's Jorge Navarro (+0.269s) in sixth; with Kent’s title rival Oliveira (+0.297s) in seventh.
Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46) was in eighth, with wildcard Niccolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) in an impressive ninth on his World Championship debut. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Team Moto3) completed the top ten, with Scotsman John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) in 20th.
There were crashes for Stefano Manzi (turn 10) and Karel Hanika (turn 1) during the session, but both walked away unhurt. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing Team Moto3), who is replacing the injured Andrea Locatelli, ended the session in 23rd.
Check out the full results from Moto3™ FP1; FP2 kicks off at 13:10 local time on Friday.
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