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Viñales wins scintillating first-ever Moto3™ race

Viñales wins scintillating first-ever Moto3™ race

Maverick Viñales won as Moto3 made its World Championship debut at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, with rookie Romano Fenati finishing second in a magnificent debut ride and Sandro Cortese taking the final podium spot.

The debut of the new Moto3™ category in the World Championship delivered an excellent spectacle at the Losail International Circuit, as Maverick Viñales (Blusens Avintia) took victory at the season-opening Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar.

The Spaniard, who won the last two 125cc races of the two-stroke machine era and was the Rookie of the Year in 2011, was followed across the line by debutant Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI) who scored a podium in his first ever Grand Prix start. The young Italian led the race for the opening six laps before Viñales overtook him, and the pair traded places again before the more experienced Viñales – still only 17 and now the second-youngest rider in history to have won three successive Grands Prix – pulled away to win by a margin of 4.3 seconds.

The displays of Viñales and 16 year-old Fenati were hugely impressive, and as the pair rode out front for the majority of the 18-lap race a thrilling battle for the third and final podium position raged behind.

In the end it was pole position starter Sandro Cortese (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who prevailed after an intense five-way fight with, in order of their final race positions, Luis Salom (RW Racing GP), Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0'0), Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Airasia-SIC-Ajo) and rookie Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo). Each of the four and Cortese had looked like taking third in an open race, before the German managed his drive out of the last corner on the final lap perfectly to beat Salom.

Completing the top 10 were British rider Danny Kent (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Frenchman Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany) and another rookie, Spanish prospect Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0'0).

It was a special evening for new talent on the World Championship stage as Alan Techer (Technomag-CIP-TSR) registered points on his GP debut by taking 11th, with Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar Team), Niklas Ajo (TT Motion Events Racing), Alberto Moncayo (Bankia Aspar Team) and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta) also scoring as they completed the top 15 riders across the finish line.

British rider Danny Webb on the Mahindra Racing machine ended the race in 18th place after starting from 25th on the grid.


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