Rins pips Viñales to Misano victory
Alex Rins has claimed his fourth race win of the Moto3™ season, beating Maverick Viñales by just one hundredth of a second in the GP Aperol di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini. Alex Marquez completed the podium while championship leader Luis Salom limited the points loss, finishing fourth from tenth place on the grid.
Heading into Round 12, Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) held a 26-point lead over Viñales (Team Calvo) with Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) a further seven in arrears. It was Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger who claimed pole position, though, as he targeted his first victory of the season.
A three-horse race at the front quickly turned into a simple head-to-head when Folger – who had lost the lead to Rins and Viñales – suffered a dramatic highside on the fourth lap; he would suffer a fracture to the left ankle and an injured shoulder. The battle for first would rage for the rest of the race, with Viñales moving ahead on Lap 13 before Rins returned with a late-race surge; the eventual move would come at Turn 13 on the final lap, as both men avoided incidents knowing that Salom was further back in the pack. Marquez finished third, six seconds behind the winner, to jump ahead of Folger for fourth place in the World Championship standings.
Having crashed earlier in the weekend, Salom knew this race would be no easy feat as he started on the fourth row – his equal worst qualifying performance of 2013 so far. The Mallorcan was already in fourth place in the early stages of the race and would cross the line in the same position, but only after monitoring a train of five riders all threatening to demote him to eighth. Salom, 11 seconds behind the victor, would ultimate hold off the attentions of Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG), his own teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing), as Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3) dropped to the tail of the battle.
There was a career-best result for Philipp Oettl as the German finished ninth for Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing, ahead of San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati who suffered handling problems for most of the race. Niklas Ajo was 11th for Avant Tecno, rounding out a bruising weekend that had featured a trip to hospital, but there was disappointment for Aspar’s Eric Granado who retired in the closing stages after becoming the class’ best ever Brazilian qualifier with seventh on the grid. Luca Marini also retired, as the half-brother of nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi highsided his Twelve Racing machine into the first corner of the race; Italian national championship rival Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra Racing) also hit trouble at Turn 1.
Both Viñales and winner Rins – whose victory is his first since Indianapolis – now move back to within one race win’s equivalent of points of Salom. The championship leader is standing on 246 points, with Viñales and Rins respectively 19 and 21 points in arrears. The battle will continue at Spain’s MotorLand Aragon on 29th September.
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