Jorge Martin ended a crash-strewn opening day of running for the Moto3 Valencia Grand Prix fastest of all ahead of Aron Canet.
A late effort in the morning session saw Platinum Bay KTM’s Marcos Ramirez go fastest of all with a 1m39.669s, while Gresini’s Martin followed him in the standings, two tenths of a second adrift of his fellow Spaniard.
The surprise of the session came in the form of world champion Joan Mir, who suffered a rare crash at Turn 10 and lost much of the session while his Leopard Honda was repaired.
Mir was able to get back out for a shakedown in the final few minutes, but ended the morning down in 22nd. Patrick Pulkinen, wildcard Maria Herrera and Mir’s Leopard team-mate Livio Loi also fell in the first session.
Keen to make up for lost time in the afternoon, Mir shot to the top of the timesheets with a 1m40.154s in the opening minutes of the second session, though was soon deposed by Aron Canet by just 0.002 seconds.
Mir – who will step up to Moto2 next season – returned to the top of the pile with a 1m39.964s, but Canet once again shuffled him back with a 1m39.605s halfway through the session.
Canet‘s time at the head of the pack came to an end with a quarter of the afternoon session still remaining, as Martin went top with a 1m39.518s before bettering that to a 1m39.209s.
Martin was set to post the first sub 1m39s lap of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Moto3 on his final tour, but lost time at the end of the lap. However, his 1m39.209s came under no threat at the chequered flag.
Canet ended the day second on the combined times ahead of RBA Racing’s Junafran Guevara, while Mir – who suffered several big moments as the afternoon session wore on – slotted into fourth spot. Ayumu Sasaki completed the top five.
Romano Fenati, who is secure in second in the world championship, began his final weekend in Moto3 sixth, with Gabriel Rodrigo, Fabio Di Giannantonio, first session pacesetter Ramirez and Philipp Oettl completing the top 10.
The second session saw a number of riders visit the gravel trap, with John McPhee’s (27th) last weekend with the British Talent Team getting off to a poor start when he fell in the afternoon at Turn 12.
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat has been taken to the medical centre after a huge highside exiting the final corner, as has Nicolo Bulega, who was involved in a crash with Niccolo Antonelli at the end of the second session when the the Red Bull KTM rider highsided in front of him.
Sky VR46 wildcard and CEV champion Dennis Foggia was 13th on his first grand prix appearance since Aragon, with fellow wildcard Kazuki Mazaki – who is the 2017 Red Bull Rookies Cup winner – a fraction ahead in 12th.