KENT WINS FIRST EVER MOTO3 GRAND PRIX!
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Danny Kent emerged the winner of the Moto3 Grand Prix on the Motegi circuit in Japan after a dramatic last lap cost teammate Sandro Cortese the chance to take the title with three rounds still in hand.
The Championship stakes went through the roof in the final stages of the race when Luis Salom on the KALEX-KTM exited the circuit after coming together with Jonas Folger (KALEX-KTM) and suddenly Sandro Cortese was in the lead and facing victory, a 76-points lead and the title at stake. He had to win the race and have his rivals Salom to finish out of the points and Maverick Vinales off the podium and 400 meters to go that was exactly the situation.
Then, with Salom and Folger eliminated, Vinales was back in the running and the lead riders, all hungry for victory, bunched together and suddenly sparks were flying as Cortese’s bike hit the asphalt. The German rider did manage to scramble back and finish the race in sixth place while Danny Kent went on to take the victory with Vinales in second and Alessandro Tonucci of Italy taking the minor podium place.
Other KTM riders to finish strongly were Zulfahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia who was in the mix with the top riders throughout the race. He finished fifth and is very much hoping for a podium next weekend at his home GP. Young KTM riders Arthur Sissis of Australia and Niklas Ajo of Finland finished eleventh and thirteenth.
Cortese now leads by 54 points and his next shot at the title will be next weekend at the Malaysian GP on the Sepang circuit. Should Cortese settle the title he will be the first ever ever Moto3 champion and he would also be the first German rider to win the lightweight class world title since Dirk Raudies in 1993.
Results Moto3 Motegi
1. Danny Kent (UK), KTM, 40:02.775 min
2. Maverick Vinales (E), FTR Honda, +0.260 sec
3. Alessandro Tonucci (I), FTR Honda, +2.352
4. Alex Rins (E), Honda, +3.404
5. Zulfahmi Khairrudin (MA), KTM, +3.645
6. Sandro Cortese (D), KTM, +13.394
11. Arthur Sissis (AUS), KTM, +16.223
13. Niklas Ajo (FIN), KTM, +28.368
22. Luca Amato (I), KALEX-KTM, +48.359
DNF Luis Salom (E), KALEX-KTM
DNF Jonas Folger (D), KALEX-KTM
DNF Brad Binder (RSA), KALEX-KTM
Standings Moto3 after Round 15 of 17
1. Cortese 255 points
2. Vinales, 199
3. Salom, 194
4. Romano Fenati (I), Honda, 126
5. Rins, 119
6. Kent, 108
7. Khairuddin, 92
13. Folger 72
14. Sissis, 63
19. Ajo, 26