Success for Rins and Oliveira but heartache for Viñales with last lap fall
There were mixed emotions in the Moto3 race at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, with Miguel Oliveira and Álex Rins enjoying success, whilst their teammates Maverick Viñales and Álex Márquez were less fortunate. Crashes for the latter two riders ruined their chances of securing strong results in the American race. Viñales crashed on the last chicane of the circuit just before the finishing line during a fight for victory, whilst Álex Márquez’ championship charge was dented as he crashed in 13th position having moved up from 19th. Oliveira and Rins, who were part of the leading group secured positive results, respectively finishing fourth and seventh.
As is habitual in this category right from the start of the race there was an intense battle amongst that leading group, a fight in this case involving nine riders, including Viñales, Rins and Oliveira. Behind them Álex Márquez made up four positions in just two laps, taking him up to 15th place. The younger brother of the Moto2 Championship leader continued making up ground until in the seventh lap, his enthusiasm got the better of him and he crashed due to an error as he overtook two riders to go into 13th place.
Back at the front of the race the adrenaline was rushing as various riders changed position in the lead, as Viñales and Rins, did battle with Khairuddin and Danny Kent. That was up until the tenth lap when Viñales took the initiative and took advantage of a fight behind him, changing pace to open up a lead of more than one second. Quickly Cortese and Salom were in pursuit, but an error from Rins saw him drop to the back of the group and he lost contact with the leaders.
Without enough speed to take him away at the front Viñales was caught by the two riders chasing him and it became clear that his battle for victory would be with that pair. As the trio watched each other closely, Cortese went for the attack on the last lap at the end of the straight. Viñales fought back on the back straight, but Salom took advantage of the battle between that pair to take the lead. Only two corners from the end of the race the Repsol rider went wide and crashed on an area of dirty track as he fought for the win.
He was unable to restart his bike and the result means he remains in second place in the standings, 29 points behind Sandro Cortese, who ended up second in the race behind Luis Salom. Jonas Folger completed the podium after getting the better of fourth placed Miguel Oliveira. Álex Rins, with significantly worn tyres was unable to keep up the pace until the end and completed the race in seventh, rounding off a good weekend in Indianapolis.
“It wasn’t bad luck but it was a shame. I was pushing to the limit throughout the weekend on every corner. On the last corner I lost my line and on a dirty piece of track the direction of the bike changed. We need some more power from the engine because the fight against the four KTM bikes was tough. I’m 29 points behind now but there are many races to go. We need to keep going and make sure we win all the time now.”
“It was a hard race. We knew we had the pace to be with the leaders and that’s how it was. Maybe the grid position didn’t help too much but we made up the places quickly. I knew that in the second half of the race the tyres would suffer and even though I made up more positions I couldn’t get to the front. We’ve started the second half of the season well though and I’m pleased with myself and for my team.”
“It was a pretty action-packed race. In the first half I was part of the lead group and I saw that I definitely needed to start pushing. When I did, Khairruddin caught back up with me at the end of the start-finish straight, so I had to push the tyres a lot. That affected the second half of my race with all the wear to them. I wasn’t able to go any faster and obviously this affected me. Now we have to focus on the good points about the weekend and look ahead to the Czech Republic.”
“I had a pretty difficult weekend at Indianapolis. We started well, although in qualifying I crashed three times. That really affected out race, as we started from very far back. I knew that we could come back through the field, and that’s what I did. It’s a shame about the crash, but I’m happy with how the team worked this weekend. We’ve learnt a lot.”
Source: Repsol Media