At an enthralling Moto3™ race at the Hertz British Grand Prix in Silverstone, RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom showed the world that the championship may not turn into just a two-horse race.
The Spaniard had been swapping places at the front throughout with race-winner, Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales, and was only denied a push for the win through a fight back from Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese. It was on the last lap that Salóm was firmly mixing it up with championship leaders Viñales and Cortese, ultimately winning a fairing-to-fairing fight to the line against the highly experienced German.
Salom, who in his previous three seasons in the then 125cc class only scored two podiums, has been somewhat of a revelation this season in the new Moto3 championship. A fourth place in Qatar was swiftly followed up by a second place in Jerez and a third in Estoril. The two following rounds saw him record a DNF in a soaking wet Le Mans and place a disappointing tenth in Catalunya. However, having only just received a new Kalex chassis for the Catalunya round, the team put that result down to teething issues.
Salom then proved any critics wrong at Silverstone, and will no doubt have made the championship leading pair realize they may yet have a third to contend with. He currently lies third in the championship, 28 points behind Cortese and 30 behind Viñales – but with 11 rounds left, the Spaniard will now be thinking anything is possible.
After the race, Salom commented: "What a race! My bike was really fast. We made a good step with the new chassis and fairing. I knew beforehand it was possible to win, but I also know how difficult it is to beat Maverick. I had it all made up in my head already what I had to do in the last lap. But Sandro messed it up a bit. I feel I am really close to my first victory. It is just there, within reach. Hopefully I can do it next race in Assen, the home race of my team.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt was equally pleased: "Luis had a great race. He has never been so close to a victory. He had a fantastic battle. I’m sure he will win a race soon. He was strong all weekend. In Barcelona we had problems with the new chassis, but we kept on working on it and believing in it. I’d like to thank Kalex, KTM and the whole team for all the effort."