Jaume Masia (Mugen Race) was fastest on Day 1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, the KTM man heading rookie and fellow Valencian Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) by just 0.069 on Friday. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) rounded out the top three, only another 0.086 in arrears.
A chilly day was at least a sunny day at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, with the gaps in Moto3™ predictably and tantalisingly close. That continued outside the top three with the man in fourth only 0.089 in arrears, and that man was impressive wildcard Xavier Artigas (Leopard Impala Junior Team). From European Talent Cup winner in 2018 to third overall – as a rookie – in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship this season, the Spaniard is on a serious roll.
The same can be said of three-in-a-row winner Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) too. Aiming to become the first to take four Moto3™ victories in a row on Sunday, he began his final race weekend in the lightweight class in fifth and only 0.019 off Artigas. Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) was only another 0.020 off in sixth. Andrea Migno (Mugen Race) and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), the latter improving from P24 in FP1, were seventh and eighth respectively.
Thanks to a late lap and despite a crash at Turn 6 – his second of the day – John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) ends Friday in ninth, with Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) rounding out the top 10 as he aims to take second overall from home hero Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team). Canet was 12th, pipped to P11 by rookie Raul Fernandez (Valresa Angel Nieto Team).
Albert Arenas (Valresa Angel Nieto Team), who crashed on Friday, lost out on P12 to the tune of just two thousandths, with Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) currently the last of the provisional Q2 graduates in 14th despite two crashes for the Italian rookie.
Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was another who crashed in FP2, as well as Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race).
There are just thousandths in it after Day 1 in Valencia – just as we’ve come to expect from Moto3™. Will the timesheets look the same after qualifying? Find out from 12:35 local time (GMT +1).
1 – Jaume Masia (SPA – KTM) 1’39.612
2 – Sergio Garcia (SPA- Honda) +0.069
3 – Marcos Ramirez (SPA – Honda) +0.155
4 – Xavier Artigas (SPA – Honda) +0.244
5 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA – Honda) +0.263