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Cortese conquers tricky conditions for home victory in Germany

Cortese conquers tricky conditions for home victory in Germany

After the skies opened just before the Moto3™ race at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring it was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese who coped best with some difficult conditions to take a first home win ahead of Alexis Masbou and Luis Salom.

JHK Laglisse’s Adrián Martín got the holeshot ahead of Caretta Technology’s Jack Miller with Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Danny Kent in tow. Most riders looked very tentative at the start, yet Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi made his way through the field and soon came up behind Miller and Martín, who had swapped positions at the front. Rossi pushed into second with 25 laps left, as a group with RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom, his teammate Brad Binder, IodaRacing Team’s Jonas Folger and Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Jakub Kornfeil formed behind.

The start had not been ideal for Folger’s teammate Luigi Morciano, who had to start from pit lane as he has already used up his engine allocation for the year, while Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Héctor Faubel stalled his bike on the grid. As Miller looked comfortable at the front, Kent’s teammate Cortese and AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin had caught up to the back of Kornfeil, who had dropped off from his group slightly.

With 17 laps remaining Salom made a mistake running into turn one letting through Martín into third and Binder into fourth. Martín made use of his new position as he put a bold move in on Rossi to charge further up into second. In another twist to the race, the sun had come out with all its force, creating a quick-drying line in some places.

Three laps on, Ambrogio Next Racing’s Giulian Pedone retired from the race, while a lap later Salom went past Rossi in turn one to take second spot. Miller’s teammate Alexis Masbou was a man on a mission as he carved his way through the pack on the drying line. Miller was taken by Salom for first shortly after, as more and more riders were learning to cope with the changing conditions.

As the overtaking melee began at the front Masbou took the lead with Cortese up into second, in front of Miller. With ten laps left there was heartache for German fans as Folger’s race was ended with a bike issue, as was Moto FGR’s Jasper Iwema. With seven laps to go Martín was caught out as he crashed heading into turn seven, but walked away unscathed.

The latter stages of the race also saw Binder crash out at turn 11, while a group of Masbou, Cortese and Salom had formed at the front. In the meantime, Danny Kent had returned to the pits with a bike issue, while Faubel’s teammate Alberto Moncayo also suffered a mechanical problem. With two laps to go, Mahindra Racing’s Marcel Schrotter made it the second German rider out of the race with a crash.

In the final two laps there was drama at the front as Rossi retired with a mechanical issue from fifth, as Cortese diced with Masbou for the win. And it was ultimately the local Cortese who kept his nerve to become the first German to win at the newly-built Sachsenring and retake the lead in the championship, with Masbou taking his first ever Grand Prix podium and Salom completing the top three.

This result now puts Cortese at the top of the championship standings, 18 points ahead of Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales, who finished in 17th. Behind the winning trio was Miller, JHK Laglisse’s Efrén Vázquez, Khairuddin, Faubel, Freudenberg Racing Team’s wildcard Luca Gruenwald, Red Bull’s Arthur Sissis and Jakub Kornfeil.


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