Le Mans Moto3: Vinales takes commanding win with return to old form

Maverick Vinales showed his old form today at Le Mans, taking a mid distance lead then making fast lap after fast lap to break his opposition and win easily over Alex Rins and Luis Salom.

A good start from the second row allowed Luis Salom and Alex Rins to move forwards to battle with the leaders early on. Johann Folger was initially able to lead, before pole man Vinales took over, leaving Folger and Rins to battle for second.

Salom initially fell back, but before long regrouped, turning the battle for the lead into a seven way scrap as he pulled Miller and Marquez with him. Front row man Olivera crashed out at turn 2 from seventh on the fourth lap.

By 5 laps gone, Folger had rejoined with VInales, as the two KTM riders swapped positions for the lead. A fastest lap for Alex Rins saw him soon join the battle for the win.

By lap 8, however, the real battle was for seventh place, with a train of riders fighting for the spot, led by Australian Jack Miller, from Ajo and Scot John McPhee, ahead of Fenati, Binder and Masbou.

At half distance, Vinales started to gap the second place battle, pulling out a small gap. Rins attempted to pass the German in second, outbraking him and causing Folger to run on at a chicane, demoting him back to fourth behind Salom.

With Folger gone, Rins was then immediately able to respond to Vinales, closing the gap right in. However, a series of fastest laps from Vinales allowed him to quickly pull out the distance. He unusually managed to get faster as the race progressed, setting the fastest lap of the race on the last lap.

Salom managed to close in the distance to Rins, but wasn't clsoe enough to be able to make a move on the last lap. Folger finished the race a lonely fourth, ahead of Marquez and Kornfeil.

Fenati came out top of the big group battle for seventh, just holding off Brad Binder for the win. Masbouu was ninth ahead of Isaac VInales.

John McPhee lost contact with the battle for seventh after a big moment, and finished eleventh, matching his best ever GP finish and one place ahead of teammate Jack Miller.

1 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Team Calvo KTM 42'05.448
2 42 Alex RINS SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 KTM +1.264
3 39 Luis SALOM SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM +1.387
4 94 Jonas FOLGER GER Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 Kalex KTM +14.593
5 12 Alex MARQUEZ SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 KTM +37.949
6 84 Jakub KORNFEIL CZE Redox RW Racing GP Kalex KTM +40.295
7 9 5 Romano FENATI ITA San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda +43.325
8 41 Brad BINDER RSA Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda +43.537
9 10 Alexis MASBOU FRA Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda +45.511
10 32 Isaac VIÑALES SPA Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda +45.674
11 17 John McPHEE GBR Caretta Technology - RTG FTR Honda +51.452

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer