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Bastianini back with a bang | MOTOGP | SPORT

Italian tops Friday as he gets back on track

Gresini Racing Moto3 rider Enea Bastianini returned to competition in style at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, as the Italian topped the timesheets on his comeback from injury. Caught up in an incident during the Australian GP that saw the ‘Beast’ crack a vertebra, Bastianini went quickest by the end of his first day back on the grid as he fights to defend his second in the standings from key rivals Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Francesco Bagnaia (Pull&Bear Aspar Mahindra). Navarro ended the day sixth despite a big crash during FP1 that saw the Spaniard head to the Medical Center for a check up, with Bagnaia in thirteenth.

The superstars of FP1 proved to be RBA Racing Team duo Juanfran Guevara and Gabriel Rodrigo as the two took a one-two in the morning, before Guevara finished the day in second with Rodrigo completing the top ten.

Rookie of the Year contender Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) had another good session in the afternoon to end Friday in third, with reigning Champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in P4 and Philipp Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) completing the top five.

Behind Navarro in sixth was second Leopard Racing rider Fabio Quartararo, with Jorge Martin (Pull&Bear Aspar Mahindra), Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) and Rodrigo rounding out the ten quickest on day one.

With everything to play for behind Binder in the Championship, the final race of the 2016 Moto3™ season is sure to prove another incredible spectacle. The curtain goes up for qualifying on Saturday, before the race is Sunday’s first finale of the day.