Valencia Moto3: Danny Kent secures victory with last-corner move
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, November 11th 2012, 10:49 GMT|
Danny Kent beat his Moto3 champion team-mate Sandro Cortese to victory with a last-corner move in the wet Valencia season finale.
The dramatic denouement also saw Zulfahmi Khairuddin slip past Brad Binder within sight of the line to secure a podium sweep for the Ajo team.
Before the race even commenced, there was heartbreak for polesitter Jonas Folger, whose Aspar Kalex suffered fuel pump problems on the way to the grid.
The team revived the bike with seconds to spare so Folger could start from the pitlane, but he retired for good early in the race.
Luis Salom assumed the early lead, ahead of Miguel Oliveira and Alex Marquez.
Spanish champion Marquez, brother of Moto2 title-winner Marc, hit the front on lap two, only to crash out moments later.
Oliveira then spent several laps leading, losing out briefly to Louis Rossi before regaining the top spot when the Frenchman ran wide.
But he could not get away from the pack, and a three-abreast moment heading into lap eight saw Efren Vazquez spend a few seconds leading before Cortese grabbed first place.
It looked like that was where the world champion would stay, as he maintained a slight advantage over a lead group that numbered up to nine bikes at times.
At the start of the final lap Cortese led from Kent, who was under big pressure from Binder for second.
But heading into the very last corner of the season, Kent slipped past Cortese to snatch the race lead, with Khairuddin producing an identical pass on Binder. That denied South African Binder his maiden podium finish, and secured an all-Ajo top three.
Oliveira and Vazquez's races ended when the Laglisse rider lost control and slid into Oliveira - just days after the pair had been announced as 2013 team-mates at the revamped Mahindra operation.
Faubel completed the top five, with Rossi falling back to seventh.
Former title contender Maverick Vinales could only manage a muted eighth, while early leader Salom drifted back to 10th.
Race Results - 24 laps: Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap 1. Danny Kent Ajo KTM 45m05.981s 2. Sandro Cortese Ajo KTM + 0.056s 3. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Ajo KTM + 0.114s 4. Brad Binder RW Kalex-KTM + 0.431s 5. Hector Faubel Laglisse FTR-Honda + 4.371s 6. Louis Rossi Germany FTR-Honda + 7.605s 7. Jakub Kornfeil Ongetta FTR-Honda + 14.931s 8. Maverick Vinales Avintia FTR-Honda + 18.495s 9. Niklas Ajo TT MotionKTM + 23.180s 10. Luis Salom RW Kalex-KTM + 23.245s 11. Philipp Oettl HP Kalex-KTM + 27.532s 12. Juan Francisco Guevara Wild Wolf BST FTR-Honda + 30.331s 13. Niccolo Antonelli Gresini FTR-Honda + 31.255s 14. Alessandro Tonucci Italia FMI FTR-Honda + 34.660s 15. Josep Rodriguez FGR Honda + 50.522s 16. Alex Rins Monlau Suter-Honda + 50.554s 17. Giulian Pedone Ambrogio Suter-Honda + 51.725s 18. Romano Fenati Italia FMI FTR-Honda + 51.826s 19. Arthur Sissis Ajo KTM + 52.970s 20. Isaac Vinales Ongetta FTR-Honda + 57.930s 21. Alan Techer Technomag-CIP TSR-Honda + 1m00.758s 22. Luca Amato Aspar Kalex-KTM + 1m47.794s 23. Kenta Fujii Technomag-CIP TSR-Honda + 1m47.977s 24. Armando Pontone Ioda + 1 lap Retirements: Jack Miller Caretta Honda 19 laps Toni Finsterbusch Germany Honda 19 laps Danny Webb Mahindra 18 laps Miguel Oliveira Monlau Suter-Honda 15 laps Efren Vazquez Laglisse FTR-Honda 15 laps Miroslav Popov Mahindra 9 laps John McPhee Caretta KRP Honda 9 laps Jonas Folger Aspar Kalex-KTM 7 laps Adrian Martin Laglisse FTR-Honda 7 laps Luigi Morciano Ioda Italia 4 laps Alex Marquez Ambrogio Suter-Honda 3 laps