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Rins beats Viñales to home Aragón victory

Alex Rins has won the Moto3™ Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón, beating Maverick Viñales after a race-long battle. Alex Marquez made the podium, while championship leader Luis Salom fought up to fourth place but saw his points advantage decrease.

Having grown up just minutes from the MotorLand Aragón circuit which first became part of the World Championship in 2010, Rins claimed his sixth pole position of the season on Saturday afternoon. He would never drop out of the fight for the lead on Sunday, which was first between himself, Team Calvo’s Viñales and Estrella Galicia 0,0 teammate Marquez before becoming a two-horse race. The leaders – who in the points table both close in on championship leader Salom – would take the battle down to the wire, but a well-judged piece of riding from Rins saw him head onto the kilometre-long back straight in front on the final lap, then extending the gap.

Marquez experienced a somewhat quiet race en route to the final podium slot, while Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Salom made the most of his damage limitation exercise to rise from eighth on the grid to fourth. An error from the otherwise impressive Philipp Oettl (Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing) left him sixth, having run as high as fourth while setting a new lap record in the process, while Salom successfully finished in front of Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira as they completed the top five. This leaves Salom with a nine-point advantage over Rins, who now jumps three points ahead of Viñales with four races remaining in the season.

Elsewhere in the race, Jonas Folger’s seventh place for Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 was to be noted as the German had undergone surgery for a fractured ankle after the last race at Misano. Belgian rookie Livio Loi (Marc VDS Racing Team) scored a point for 15th position, while Mahindra’s Efren Vazquez rounded out the top ten after escaping unscathed from an incident at Turn 1 on the 16th lap; the same could not be said for Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who flew off his bike but was able to walk away. The Malaysian was then taken to the Medical Centre for treatment, where it was confirmed that he had suffered a fracture to his right wrist; in his current state, Khairuddin would be unable to take part in his upcoming home Grand Prix at Sepang.

A total of six riders failed to finish, as the field was completed by wildcard Maria Herrera (Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0,0); having raised eyebrows on Friday by unexpectedly finishing inside the top ten in opening practice, the CEV race winner fell on the first lap of today’s race and was forced to rejoin at the back of the pack.

Aragón marked the last event ahead of the upcoming triple-header in Malaysia, Australia and Japan. The action continues with the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

Tags:
Moto3, 2013, RAC

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