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Salom triumphs after intense fight at Mugello

Salom triumphs after intense fight at Mugello

Luis Salom has claimed his second Moto3™ win of 2013 following a multiple-rider battle for victory in the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider pulled out a small advantage on the final lap to lead home Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins and Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales, who retains his championship lead.

Saturday had seen Germany’s Jonas Folger take his first pole position of the season, heading up the front row from Viñales who looked to complete a hat-trick of Moto3 race wins. Consistent Salom, the eventual winner, would come from fifth on the grid. Having won the season-opening Qatar GP, he was yet to finish off the podium this year and has therefore maintained his impressive run of form. He went third on the opening lap and, with a handful to go, could be seen making the most of his KTM power to pull in front of the pack on the start/finish straight.

The crucial moment came three laps from home, as Rins’ teammate Alex Marquez allowed Salom to pull out enough of a gap to hold the advantage by the time Rins and Viñales rejoined the top three group. Rins, having bogged down slightly at the start, was nonetheless delighted with second place from third on the grid. Viñales led at half distance, having dispatched with Folger on Lap 4 before heading up a thrilling lead group of six riders. Behind, another multi-rider cluster was contesting positions eight and downwards and on several occasions up to six men could be seen riding side-by-side on the drag down to first corner San Donato.

Oliveira celebrated his best result of the season so far to finish fourth for Mahindra Racing from Marquez, both of whom enjoyed sizeable amounts of time in the lead – from tenth on the grid, in the case of the latter. Folger could not climb back to the front of the lead pack, finishing sixth from pole position. The top ten was completed by GO&FUN Gresini Moto3’s Niccolo Antonelli, Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo (who pulled off an impressive overtaking manoeuvre during the race), Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 newcomer Eric Granado and Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller.

Salom’s fourth career win sees him move to within four points of Viñales atop the championship (106 points to 102), with Rins third on 81 but still paying the price of his crash in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. Five riders failed to make the finish of today’s race, including Romano Fenati who flew over the front of his San Carlo Team Italia bike following contact with Jasper Iwema (RW Racing GP), while Jakub Kornfeil (Redox RW Racing GP) and Matteo Ferrari (Ongetta-Centro Seta) were left highly frustrated to have ended up in the gravel trap of the final corner on the last lap.

Moto3™ continues with the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya in a fortnight’s time.


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