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Salom staking claim on Moto3™ title

Salom staking claim on Moto3™ title

Before the season, he was a genuine underdog. Seven races in, he has won four of them which includes an impress hat-trick of Mugello-Barcelona-Assen. As far as his rivals are concerned, Luis Salom must be stopped.

Salom sent out a sure-fire warning by taking victory from pole under lights in Qatar. Then again, Viñales had only recently suffered the Jerez pre-season testing crash which left him minus part of a finger. Following a triumph for Estrella Galicia 0,0 and Alex Rins in Texas, Team Calvo’s Viñales would take double victories at Jerez and Le Mans and this appeared to be no significant surprise.

Perhaps what has been a slight surprise – to his adversaries, if anybody – is Salom’s form over the past three races. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, enjoying tremendous straight-line speed, superb race craft and - perhaps most importantly - executing immaculate timing in the closing stages of races, has now been unbeaten for over a month. Never off the podium so far this season, Salom and Viñales (separated by ten points) are the only men across the three classes able to boast that fact.

The last event at Assen again demonstrated that patience can very much win races. In what is quickly becoming a trademark of his, Salom held back before bolting to the front, rapidly pulling out a lead in the closing stages and crossing the finish line in front. It was perhaps his most impressive performance so far and even the 17-year-old from Palma de Mallorca appeared to be taken aback by the whole sequence of events.

Perhaps the only area in which Salom is falling short of Viñales is qualifying – but even that is marginal. The facts show that the championship leader’s average grid position is third, whereas his closest opponent is more often placed second on the starting grid. However, as the margins always tend to be minor, this has not been preventing Salom from reaping the rewards on race day.

Salom’s next challenge comes in the form of the 3.6km, anti-clockwise circuit that goes by the name of Sachsenring. We wait to learn whether he can do something fellow Palma-born rider Jorge Lorenzo failed to do between 2002 and 2004: win the German Grand Prix in the lower class. If he can, he will become the fourth different Spaniard to do so over the past five years.

Two German wildcard entries will be in action this weekend. Luca Amato will compete alongside Miguel Oliveira and Efren Vazquez at Mahindra Racing, whereas Kevin Hanus returns with Thomas Sabo GP Team. At Ambrogio Racing, Danny Webb is left on the sidelines due to a fractured radius in his right arm; Frenchman Jules Danilo stands in for for both the Sachsenring and Indianapolis.

Sunday’s Moto3™ eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland begins at 11am local time (GMT +2).


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