Viñales revels in hard-fought victory at Silverstone

Sunday, 17 June 2012

At this weekend’s Moto3™ race at the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone it was Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales who took a hard-fought victory in front of Luis Salóm and Sandro Cortese.

In the best conditions seen all weekend the Moto3™ contingent got underway with Caretta Technology’s Alexis Masbou getting the holeshot in front of JHK T-Shirt Laglisse’s Efrén Vázquez. However in true Moto3™ fashion a group at the front soon formed with Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales, RW Racing GP’s Luis Salóm, Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese, Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi and Team Italia FMI’s Romano Fenati.

Masbou’s teammate Jack Miller was an early crasher on lap one, whilst Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins also crashed out with 16 laps to go. The front group were being led in stages by a mix of Viñales, Salóm and Vázquez, while Cortese and Rossi were touching fairings behind.

With 13 laps remaining IodaRacing Team’s Jonas Folger’s bad luck continued as his race finished early, whilst British wild card entrant John McPhee from the Racing Steps Foundation KRP crashing out, but managing to remount. In the meantime, Cortese’s teammate Danny Kent and AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin were firmly on the back of the group, which was being contested at the front by Salóm, Viñales and Rossi.

With eight laps left, Red Bull’s Arthur Sissis and Rins’ teammate Miguel Oliveira were closing in on the group, creating a snake off 11 riders battling it out for top spot. On the same lap Giulian Pedone suffered a problem, as his race ended prematurely.

Two laps later Viñales tried to make a break as the field started to stretch slightly, however Salóm and Cortese were sticking closely to the leader’s tail. It was heartbreak for Mahindra Racing’s local boy Danny Webb, as he was forced to retire in front of his home crowd. With two laps remaining Viñales was defending his lead from a charging Salóm and Cortese, whilst Masbou was heading the fiercely contested group for fourth with Kent, Rossi and Vázquez.

It was a nail-biting last lap as Cortese took Salóm for second, who had been fighting with Viñales. Yet Salóm was fighting until the end and put in a tough move to regain second. It was drama for Le Mans race-winner Rossi who lost the front end in the final turns, as he missed out on the scrap to the line.

The race ended with Viñales crossing the finish line to take his third victory this season and the championship lead, ahead of Salóm and Cortese, who complete the podium. They finished ahead of Masbou in fourth, followed by Vázquez, Kent, Fenati, Sissis, Khairuddin and Oliveira.

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