RINS WINS PHOTO FINISH RACE ON PHILLIP ISLAND IN AUSTRALIA!
Spanish rider Alex Rins emerged the winner of one of the tightest Moto3 Grand Prix of the 2013 season on Sunday at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia crossing the line three thousandths of a second in front of Maverick Viñales. Red Bull KTM Ajo factory rider and championship leader Luis Salom was third to make it yet another all KTM, all Spanish podium.
Alex Rins has now trimmed Luis Salom’s lead in the championship down to just five points with two rounds remaining. The competition remains on a knife edge as teams head for the Motegi circuit in Japan next weekend. All indications are that the finale will be a massive battle between the three leaders at home in Valencia, Spain. Rins has now won six races this year but Salom has taken seven and it seems like only tactics and race craft separate them. Maverick Viñales also remains in the mix at third in the points.
Salom started on pole and the race quickly developed into a tightly packed group of eight riders, the front four all on KTM RC250 R Moto3 racing machines. Slowly but surely they distanced themselves from the rest of the field and at the flag, the lead group had a 15-seconds edge.
Right from the opening stages the championship leaders and usual suspects controlled the race from the front while invaders like Australian Jack Miller, who next year rides for Red Bull KTM Ajo was also in the mix and looking dangerous.
Going into the second last lap, Salom was sitting close behind Viñales and Rins and it was clear that he was playing his usual stalking game that has won him a lot of races this year. Well known for his last lap tactics and sitting in a good second place, Salom was eventually foiled after a close encounter with German rider Jonas Folger on the lead KALEX-KTM in the final stages. He eventually had to settle for third place.
Salom: “The tactics were difficult today. There was lots of wind and I had a small incident in the slow corner. But its is really good to be on the podium.”
Salom's Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates Zulfahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia and Australian Arthur Sissis finished 11th and 16th.
Results Moto3 Phillip Island
1. Alex Rins (E), KTM, 37:40.375 min
2. Maverick Viñales (E), KTM, +0.003 sec
3. Luis Salom (E), KTM, +0.178
4. Alex Marquez (E), KTM, +0.502
5. Jack Miller (AUS), Honda, +0.601
6. Jonas Folger (D), KALEX-KTM, +1.077
9. Niklas Ajo (FIN), KTM, +15.074
10. Alexis Masbou (F), FTR-Honda, +15.960
11. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (MAL), KTM, +15.974
12. Jakub Kornfeil (CZ), KALEX-KTM, +16.105
16. Arthur Sissis (AUS), KTM, +16.665
18. Livio Loi (B), KALEX-KTM, +17.353
19. Ana Carrasco (E), KTM, +19.042
20. Jasper Iwema (NL), KALEX-KTM, +36.382
21. Eric Granado (BR), KALEX-KTM, +43.184
22. Luca Gruenwald (D), KALEX-KTM, +43.193
23. Toni Finsterbusch (D), KALEX-KTM, +43.210
DNS Philipp Oettl (D), KALEX-KTM
Standings Moto3 after 15 of 17 rounds
1. Salom, 300 points
2. Rins, 295
3. Viñales, 278
4. Marquez, 175
5. Folger, 147
6. Miguel Oliveira (P), Mahindra, 131
7. Miller, 100
8. Masbou, 84
9. Efren Vazquez (E), Mahindra, 71
10. Khairuddin, 65
11. Kornfeil, 63
12. Sissis, 59
15. Ajo, 54
18. Oettl, 24
21. Iwema, 8
22. Granado, 7
25. Loi, 4
27. Carrasco, 1