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Viñales wins as race is stopped in Jerez

Viñales wins as race is stopped in Jerez

Maverick Viñales has won for the first time this season, marking three Moto3™ victors from as many races. The Team Calvo rider, who overtook Alex Rins for the lead, was declared the winner when red flags flew for the second consecutive race.

On Saturday, Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Rins stormed to his second pole position in a row off the back of a maiden career victory in Texas. He defended from Viñales off the start line, but lost the lead when the latter slipped through at Dry Sack on the third tour. Pushing hard to stay in touch and doing so successfully until Lap 12, Rins lost the front end of his bike and crashed at Alex Criville corner.

Rins’ demise left Viñales in front with a small gap back to KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom, who had been joint championship leader with Rins heading into this weekend. The second of the pair caught the leader and looked set to make a move when the right moment came, but was left frustrated when the race was stopped at just past two-thirds distance. Less irritated was Livio Loi, as the Belgian scored on his debut with Marc VDS Racing Team less than two weeks after his 16th birthday.

The race-ending incident came on Lap 17, with the red flags flying for the second time in as many races while doctors attended to Frenchmen Alan Techer (CIP Moto3). Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing), Jack Miller (Caretta Technology - RTG), Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3), Ana Carrasco (Team Calvo) and Florian Alt (Kiefer Racing) also suffered crashes or collisions, but all riders escaped unharmed.

Viñales’ victory is his first since Mugello last year and comes at the same track where he suffered the pre-season testing crash which injured his right hand. He now takes the championship lead, having led home Salom and Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger who made up for his below-par performance in Qualifying on Saturday.

Ambrogio Racing’s Brad Binder was the main prophet of the Oliveira-Miller clash, finishing fourth from Redox RW Racing GP’s Jakub Kornfeil who has enjoyed an extremely strong weekend when considering that he missed all of Friday Free Practice in order to take compulsory exams. Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo avoided the trouble to finish sixth as Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Mahindra’s Efren Vazquez, San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati and Ognetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou completed the top ten.

After three rounds, Viñales becomes the new championship leader on 65 points. There is a four-point cushion back to Salom, with the non-scoring Rins now third and 24 points off the top spot. Folger and Khairuddin are fourth and fifth overall.

Moto3™ continues with Round 4 of the 2013 season, the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France, at the historic Le Mans circuit in two weeks’ time.

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