Miller carries the lead to ‘The Cathedral’

Monday, 23 June 2014

It looked almost certain that Jack Miller would relinquish the Moto3™ World Championship advantage to Romano Fenati during the closing stages of the Catalan Grand Prix, but the Australian would again pull a rabbit out of the hat to continue leading as the battle moved on to Assen.

It was Alex Marquez who won at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for Estrella Galicia 0,0, picking up a first Honda-powered lightweight class victory since 2012 and in the process ending a remarkable run of success for KTM. It also marked the first victory for Emilio Alzamora’s team since it switch from Austrian to Japanese power at the start of this year, as well as allowing brothers to win World Championship Grands Prix on the same day for the very first time in the history of the series which inaugurated in 1949.

Perhaps ride of the day in Catalunya went to Enea Bastianini (Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3), the youngest rider in the field, who picked up a first podium. Ironically, it had been Marquez and Bastianini who were taken out of action in the final lap crash at Mugello two weeks earlier. In third was Efren Vazquez for SaxoPrint-RTG, finishing on the rostrum for the fourth time at seven races so far this campaign. Timing again proved critical for Miller, who after running eighth for much of the Barcelona race shot into fourth place as he took advantage of final lap dramas, such as the amazing off-track excursion and consequent save of Niklas Ajo which also removed Jakub Kornfeil from podium contention.

With seven events down, 11 to go and the customary summer break now only two races away, the lead for Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miller is seven points over Sky Racing Team VR46’s Fenati, with Vazquez 25 points in arrears of the lead (the exact equivalent of one race win). A further seventh behind is Marquez in fifth position, now just two in arrears of his team-mate Alex Rins who lost a chance at victory last time out due to a broken gear-changer.

Moto3™ now moves on to historic Assen for its third race there since the class took over from 125s back in 2012. Last year, Miguel Oliveira memorably picked up the first Moto3™ pole position for Mahindra Racing – only the second in the World Championship for the Indian manufacturer, which had previously clinched a 125 pole with Danny Webb. Just four tenths of a second covered last year’s top five, with Luis Salom winning from Maverick Viñales, Rins, Oliveira and Marquez in classic Moto3™ fashion.

Opening free practice for the 2014 Moto3™ Iveco Daily TT Assen begins at 9am local time (GMT +1) on Thursday 26 June, with Saturday’s race coming at 11am.

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