Salom prevails in thrilling Moto3 finish at Indianapolis, while Cortese extends points lead as Vinales falls
|By Sam Tremayne||Sunday, August 19th 2012, 15:54 GMT|
Luis Salom scored his first Moto3 victory at Indianapolis, prevailing in a thrilling three-way last-lap scrap with championship leaders Sandro Cortese and Maverick Vinales.
Cortese (Ajo KTM) finished second but extended his points advantage over Vinales to 29 after the latter fell at the final turn.
It was the Avintia FTR-Honda rider who had made the early move in the race, breaking free of a pack of nine riders and forcing Cortese and Salom (RW Kalex-KTM) to take up the chase.
By the halfway mark the three had moved clear of a chasing group of five riders, swapping positions regularly as the race headed into the final stages.
Going into the last lap there was less than half a second to choose between the trio, with Cortese heading Vinales and Salom.
That all changed down the back straight, when Vinales got an excellent tow and dived down the inside - only to find Salom had done the same to him and jumped from third to first in an excellent move.
Cortese tried to respond but ran slightly wide hounding Salom and Vinales dived back down the inside, with the trio remaining locked together until the final turn when Vinales ran wide and lost the front of his bike.
Salom hung on to claim his first win in Moto3, 0.056 seconds ahead of Cortese, while Aspar's Jonas Folger inherited third, just over two seconds down the road.
Miguel Oliviera, Romano Fenati, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Alex Rins all finished within eight seconds of the lead, having been part of the earlier nine-bike battle for first.
Results - 23 laps: Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap 1. Luis Salom RW Kalex-KTM 42m14.300s 2. Sandro Cortese Ajo KTM + 0.056s 3. Jonas Folger Aspar Kalex-KTM + 2.940s 4. Miguel Oliveira Monlau Suter-Honda + 3.067s 5. Romano Fenati Italia FMI FTR-Honda + 3.664s 6. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Ajo KTM + 7.663s 7. Alex Rins Monlau Suter-Honda + 7.697s 8. Jakub Kornfeil Ongetta FTR-Honda + 11.203s 9. Alberto Moncayo Laglisse FTR-Honda + 11.242s 10. Alexis Masbou Caretta Honda + 13.163s 11. Arthur Sissis Ajo KTM + 23.362s 12. Danny Kent Ajo KTM + 24.364s 13. Louis Rossi Germany FTR-Honda + 25.001s 14. Isaac Vinales Ongetta FTR-Honda + 31.211s 15. Alessandro Tonucci Italia FMI FTR-Honda + 34.179s 16. Toni Finsterbusch MZ Honda + 1m12.945s 17. Giulian Pedone Ambrogio Suter-Honda + 1m14.428s 18. Kenta Fujii Technomag-CIP TSR-Honda + 1m14.709s 19. Armando Pontone Ioda + 1m15.326s 20. Riccardo Moretti Mahindra + 1 lap Retirements: Maverick Vinales Avintia FTR-Honda 22 laps Alan Techer Technomag-CIP TSR-Honda 15 laps Efren Vazquez Laglisse FTR-Honda 11 laps Luigi Morciano Ioda Italia 10 laps Alex Marquez Ambrogio Suter-Honda 6 laps Brad Binder RW Kalex-KTM 3 laps Adrian Martin Laglisse FTR-Honda 0 laps Jasper Iwema FGR Honda 0 laps Niccolo Antonelli Gresini FTR-Honda 0 laps Niklas Ajo TT Motion KTM DSQ