The Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo plays host to an open battle for the runner-up position in the Moto3 World Championship this... Jorge Martin confident of strong race as work gets underway at Valencia

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The Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo plays host to an open battle for the runner-up position in the Moto3 World Championship this weekend, with the current favourite to take it setting the pace on the opening day.

Enea Bastianini, who holds a nineteen-point advantage over third-placed Mahindra Pull&Bear Aspar rider Pecco Bagnaia, set a benchmark of 1’39.556 in this afternoon’s second free practice session, despite having missed the last round in Malaysia through injury.

Spanish pair Juanfran Guevara and Joan Mir were the closest to the Italian today, with runner-up contenders Jorge Navarro and Pecco Bagnaia in sixth and thirteenth place respectively. World Champion Brad Binder was fourth fastest on a day that saw up to 26 riders lap within a second.

Jorge Martín was the quickest of the two Mahindra Pull&Bear Aspar riders, finishing the day with a best lap of 1’39.881.

The Spaniard spent much of the session working on tyre endurance as he prepares for Sunday’s 24-lap race, although he is already a second quicker than at this stage of last year’s Grand Prix.

8th Jorge Martín 1.39.881 (30 laps):
“It has been a strange day. We have to work on finding race pace because we are fast over one lap. We need to make improvements on Saturday morning. The good thing is that I am already lapping faster than we managed here last season and I think we can have a strong race on Sunday.”

Source: Aspar Media