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Viñales ends the pre-season at record pace

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The Repsol Moto3 riders said farewell to Jerez with Maverick Viñales just 9 thousandths off the lap record, Miguel Oliveira making constant progress and Álex Rins making his debut on the Suter. The third day of tests in Jerez brought an end to the pre-season and another brilliant performance from Maverick Viñales.

With the start of the 2012 World Championship getting closer and closer, the final day of the pre-season helped to gauge the level of all the riders in the class, but above all to put the finishing touches to the bikes so that the first race goes without a hitch. The wind was not as strong as on the previous days and so work began earlier, at 10am and with the track temperature at 21ºC. Miguel Oliveira and Maverick Viñales were the first to go out, just a little before Álex Rins who made his debut on the Suter he will ride this season.

Viñales continued doing some tests, focusing on the first race, trying out different exhausts on his FTR Honda, hoping to gain a bit more speed and more power when accelerating. He improved his times for the third day running, the Repsol rider eventually setting times below 1.47, and a best time of 1.46.838.

In the same session alongside the Moto2 bikes, which lasted until 2pm, Oliveira did 50 laps, putting the finishing touches to the setup on the Suter and setting a best time of 1.48.310, three tenths faster than his teammate, Álex Rins. The reigning Spanish 125cc Champion made his debut on the Suter after a couple of days on the Honda to get his confidence back whilst nursing his injured shoulder and finding a comfortable pace. He has adapted quickly to the new machine and did more than 40 laps, setting a best time of 1.48.610, getting a positive eleventh place on the leaderboard.

In the afternoon Viñales, pleased with his preparation, did not go out on the track, whilst Miguel Oliveira and Álex Rins did another 17 and 20 laps, respectively. The Portuguese, with a best time of 1.48.245 finished in sixth position whilst his teammate set a 1.48.350, giving him a meritorious eighth place. In the combined classification over the three days they finished eighth and ninth respectively, a classification headed by Viñales´ spectacular lap.

These three days brought an end to an intense pre-season where the riders have had to get used to the new Moto3 class, one that will make its official debut in under three weeks at the circuit of Losail in Qatar.

Maverick Viñales // 1:46.838, 31 laps, 137 km.
"Today, above all, we were working on the tyre selection and on the configuration of the chassis, and we found a better setup which allowed us to go quite fast. In this practice we also tried several exhausts and we can now say that we have made the definitive choice. In the final session we set a good time, yesterday with the wind it was more difficult, but today the conditions improved and we were able to lower the times. Looking forward to the start of the World Championship we have everything decided, we know what we will do in each of the practice sessions and the objective will be to get used to the circuit as quickly as possible and try to go fast".

Miguel Oliveira // 1:48.245, 67 laps, 296 km.
"We have finished the three days of practice and they were very productive for all of us. Today was the day we were able to do the most laps, since the temperatures have not been good, so we were able to improve the times in practice yesterday. We worked along the same lines on the three days and we focused on fast times. I think we are riding with a good pace but now we must look think about Qatar knowing that we have done some good work this pre-season".

Álex Rins // 1:48.350, 60 laps, 265 km.
"I am very satisfied. Today we had the possibility of riding with the Suter chassis and the truth is that I liked it. I think that we did some good work concerning the adaptation, as we went quite fast from the start. I want to thank all the team because yesterday they worked really hard and until late. If I have to review the three days, I think they were very positive, and that is very important when you think about the first race of the season. We are now concentrating on the race in Qatar, now I am going to carry on with my physical preparation so that my shoulder will be 100%".

3/22/2012

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