SALOM WINS IN CATALUNYA AND TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD!
Red Bull KTM Ajo factory rider Luis Salom rode a masterly race to seal his second consecutive Moto3 GP victory on the Catalunya Grand Prix circuit in Barcelona to lead home a three-way KTM podium and assume the lead in the championship standings.
The podium was an all Spanish, all KTM affair with Luis Salom prevailing after a break away with three laps to go although right until the finish he was pushed hard by second placed Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales. Alex Marquez, also on a KTM RC250 GP bike was fourth ahead of two Mahindra riders.
Salom’s teammates Zulfhami Khairuddin of Malaysia and Australian Arthur Sissis played leading parts in a tightly packed following group of eight riders and finished ninth and tenth respectively.
Salom’s victory, following on from his win in the last round at Mugello, Italy vaults him past Viñales in the championship standings. The young Spaniard started on pole, only the second of his young career and was with the front riders for the duration of the race. Already known as a smart rider with a very good sense of tactics, Salom made his move with three laps to go. While he never managed to shake off Rins and Viñales, he was able to defend his lead in the critical corners and stay just enough ahead to ensure the other two riders had no chance to capitalize on the slipstream advantage.
Other top KTM riders were not so lucky – Jonas Folger (KALEX-KTM) had to watch the race from the perspective of the pit box after breaking a wrist in a motocross accident the week before. He was advised by medical staff to sit out the race to be fit for the next GP in Assen, Netherlands. Niklas Ajo, Jasper Iwema and Tony Finsterbusch were also all involved in an incident in the first half of the 22-lap race.
Salom wraps up his weekend five points in front of Viñales and now has two weeks to prepare for the next round in Assen.
Results Moto3 Barcelona
1. Luis Salom (E), KTM, 41:15.331 min
2. Alex Rins (E), KTM, +0.211 sec
3. Maverick Viñales (E), KTM, +0.634
4. Alex Marquez (E), KTM, +3.993
5. Efren Vazquez (E), Mahindra, +6.243
6. Miguel Oliveira (P), Mahindra, +9.295
7. Jack Miller (AUS), FTR Honda, +13.164
8. Alexis Masbou (F), FTR Honda, +21.174
9. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (MAL), KTM, +21.240
10. Arthur Sissis (AUS), KTM, +21.598
18. Philipp Oettl (D), KALEX-KTM, +34.915
22. Ana Carrasco (E), KTM, +35.352
26. Eric Granado (BR), KALEX-KTM, +1:12.896 min
DNF, Jakub Kornfeil (CZ), KALEX-KTM, 10 Laps
DNF, Livio Loi (B), KALEX-KTM, 18 Laps
DNF, Toni Finsterbusch (D), KALEX-KTM, 0 Lap
DNF, Niklas Ajo (FIN), KTM, 0 Lap
DNF, Jasper Iwema (NL), KALEX-KTM, 0 Lap
DNS, Jonas Folger (D), KALEX-KTM
Standings Moto3 after 6 of 17 rounds
1. Salom, 127 points
2. M. Viñales, 122
3. Rins, 101
4. Folger, 63
5. Marquez, 48
6. Oliveira, 43
7. Khairuddin, 40
8. Binder, 38
9. Masbou, 35
10. Miller, 29
11. Kornfeil, 27
13. Ajo, 26
14. Sissis, 25
20. Granado, 7
21. Iwema, 6
24. Loi, 1
25. Oettl, 1
Manufacturers Standings Moto3 after 6 of 17 rounds
1. KTM, 150 points
2. KALEX-KTM, 63
3. Mahindra, 52