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The Moto3™ race at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas saw Britain’s Danny Kent win by a crushing 8.5 seconds.
Fog during the morning Warm Up session was so severe that proceedings were delayed by half an hour until safety conditions improved. The track had several damp patches with some riders remaining in the pits, not wishing to risk a crash.
Rain held off for the race, but dark clouds resulted in a less than ideal track condition for the Moto3™ riders. Starting from pole position it initially looked as though Danny Kent had a poor start, but the Leopard Racing rider did not want to be leading the pack as there were damp patches still on track. An expert use of the slipstream catapulted Kent into the lead and allowed him to break away.
Once at the front the Honda rider set a series of laps in the mid 2’17s, over half a second faster than the rest of the field. He saw his advantage steadily grow to 8.5 seconds by the end of the race, securing his first win of the season. In previous years Kent has been criticised for starting off poorly in the year, but with a double podium 2015 is proving an exception. “I wanted to watch on the first laps and see where the wet patches were. Winter training has paid off and I was able to focus for the whole race,” he said, satisfied with the weekend.
Fabio Quartararo has had many people talking inside the paddock, the 15 year old already being compared to Marc Marquez. Qatar saw a solid debut for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider but Austin saw the French youngster live up to his reputation as a double CEV Repsol Champion, claiming second. He and the vastly experienced Alexis Masbou battled for most of the race. Quartararo was stronger on the brakes, especially into Turn 1 and secured second as Masbou slid off at the final corner.
“It’s incredible, thanks to the team. A really good race and now I’m really happy because we’ve found a good setting for the bike. Some corners were still wet,” said Quartararo after the race. Argentina will be yet another new track for Quartararo before Jerez, a track he is familiar with from the Spanish Championship.
Vazquez was another rider to benefit from Masbou’s misfortune at the final corner, securing third position for the second year running in Austin. The Basque rider has been overshadowed by his dominant Leopard Racing teammate but proved he will be a title contender throughout the season. “I made two big mistakes and lost a lot of ground but I found my rhythm again. We made big changes but it was a risk as we couldn’t push in Warm Up,” he reflected.
It was another dominant weekend for Honda; Brad Binder was the top KTM in fifth position. “The race was very difficult, because at the beginning I felt some chattering that did not give me enough confidence to push, which forced me to be more cautious,” revealed the South African after the race. The chatter improved towards the end of the race allowing him to ride smoother. It was another crash for Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Miguel Oliveira however.
The Portuguese rider briefly led in the opening laps but soon dropped down the order, as low as ninth position. “I was unable to stay with the lead group and from then on I suffered a lot; I didn’t feel as comfortable as yesterday, the bike was sliding more than normal and with eight laps to go, I crashed out,” he said. Oliveira is still yet to score any World Championship points.
Mahindra looked to be as serious podium contender with Franceso Bagnaia, before the Mapfre Aspar Mahindra rider fell from the race. His teammate Juanfran Guevara was an early faller and taken for X-Rays. Livio Loi, Jules Danilo, Jorge Martin and Hiroki Ono also fell. Niccolo Antonelli was fighting for a podium before losing the front and rejoining the race.
Click here for the full Moto3™ race results.
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