The new Moto3™ machines made their World Championship debut on Thursday in the first practice session of the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, as the 2012 season got underway beneath the Losail International Circuit floodlights.
The new 250cc four-stroke bikes were the first out on track in the day's schedule for a 40-minute session, and it was the 2011 125cc Rookie of the Year Maverick Viñales (Blusens Avintia) who set the fastest time on board his FTR Honda as he set the bar with a best time of 2'09.762.
Making it an FTR Honda one-two at the top of the timesheet was Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany), who with his time of 2'09.980 was the only other rider under 2'10”.
Spanish rider Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) was third in the order on his Kalex KTM at just over half-a-second off Viñales with a 2'10.301, and Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0'0) was fourth and the last within a second of top spot thanks to his best lap of 2'10.385.
Completing the top ten on the timesheet were Sandro Cortese (Red Bull KTM Ajo), rookie Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI), Niklas Ajo (TT Motion Events Racing), Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Airasia-SIC-Ajo), Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar Team) and Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology).
British rider Danny Webb (Mahindra Racing) was 15th at the end of the session, whilst Red Bull KTM Ajo's Danny Kent endured a tough first practice, as technical issues restricted him to just seven laps.
The Moto3 riders have a second practice session later on Thursday.
source: motogp official