Maverick Vinales dominates home race in Catalunya
03 June 2012 11:10
Maverick Vinales won his second Moto3 race of the season in front of his crowd at the Catalunya circuit today.
The Spanish rider had been locked in an exciting early battle with Le Mans winner Louis Rossi, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Efren Vazquez before he seized the lead for the first time on lap four.
Vinales, who uses a British-built FTR frame, made his decisive break for victory on lap 11 when he opened up a lead of over one second for the first time.
None of a chasing pack of nine riders were able to match his breakaway pace and a lap later Vinales had stretched his lead to 2.319s.
The race for the win was over as a contest just a lap later when he ended lap 13 with a massive 4.940s advantage and he cruised to his first win since the opening round of the season in the Qatar night race.
The battle for the podium behind Vinales was a thrilling affair, which included world championship leader Sandro Cortese.
Vazquez and Alex Rins were both involved in the enthralling battle when they crashed out on lap 16.
At one stage the eight riders left scrapping it out for second and third were split by less than 0.6s
The podium places were only decided on the final lap and it was German Cortese who took second from Miguel Oliveira.
The group were split by less than a second at the finish with Rossi eventually claiming fourth.
Cortese’s brilliant ride under intense pressure in second means he will head to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone with a seven-point lead over Vinales.
Wild card John McPhee was the top British rider. He was in the top 10 after a brilliant first lap and eventually finished 19th.
Red Bull KTM rider Danny Kent had a frustrating 23-lap race and he was one place further back in 20th.
Mahindra rider Danny Webb was battling with Niklas Ajo for 21st when he almost crashed going into the first corner at the start of lap 17.
He was thrown out of the seat of his Mahindra machine but produced a brilliant save before toppling over at slow speed in the gravel.
Unable to restart his bike, the Kent rider was forced to retire.