Jonas Folger wins Brno Moto3 race
German Jonas Folger superbly mastered tricky conditions at the Brno circuit earlier today to collect his first Moto3 victory.
Heavy rain that fell earlier in the day had stopped in the build-up to round 11 of the campaign and by the time the 19-lap race started a dry line had clearly emerged.
Damp patches though were still scattered around the track, which gave Spaniard Efren Vazquez a clear advantage after he gambled on running wet Dunlop tyres. Vazquez had already established a lead of over four seconds in the early stages but his advantage quickly disappeared in rapidly drying conditions and he dropped way out of contention to finish 25th.
Aspar Kalex KTM rider Folger was like the majority of the field in opting to run slicks and his aggressive start from 10th on the grid put him contention for a second successive rostrum right from the start.
He seized the lead on lap four and he was able to immediately streak away from the chasing pack to finish almost six seconds clear of the field at the chequered flag.
Czech Republic fans thought they would be cheering a home podium finish with Jakub Kornfeil taking second place on lap seven. He managed to hold second until two laps from the end when he was swamped by a chasing pack that included title challengers Sandro Cortese and Maverick Vinales.
Cortese and Vinales, who were both on slick rubber, had inevitably adopted for a cautious approach in the early stages while they waited for track conditions to improve. Cortese seemed certain to take a precious 20-points after he took second from Kornfeil on the penultimate lap. But he was relegated to third two corners from the end of the race when Spaniard Luis Salom dived underneath his Red Bull KTM machine. Cortese had to settle for third but with Vinales finishing one place further back in fourth, Cortese heads to the next race in Misano with a comfortable world championship lead of 32-points. Kornfeil eventually finished sixth ahead of British rider Danny Kent.
Kent blamed himself for being too cautious in the damp conditions at the start of the race but he fought back brilliantly from 18th place to finish seventh. His pace in the dry was evident too as he set the third fastest lap of the race.
British wild card John McPhee battled superbly for the top three in the early stages having come from 19th on the grid.
He quickly gained confidence in the damp conditions to hold fourth place for the opening two laps and he kept himself inside the top 10 until lap 11.
The Racing Steps Foundation KRP Honda rider eventually finished 15th.