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125: Vinales takes rain-shortened Assen victory
25 June 2011
Grand prix rookie Maverick Vinales has won his second race of the season in a rain-shortened 125cc Dutch TT at Assen.
Starting from his second pole, the Paris Hilton racing rider had lost the lead at the end of the first lap, after backing off more than his rivals as he hit spots of rain at the final chicane.
Team-mate Sergio Gadea, Ajo's Johann Zarco and Racing Team Germany's Sandro Cortese showed less caution, but as the rain drops steadily increased Vinales became ever stronger – returning to the front at the end of lap 10 of 22.
By then some riders were starting to signal that the race should be stopped, due to the worsening weather.
But smart 16-year-old Vinales - perhaps aware that race direction would try to wait until 66% of the race distance had been reached - in order to call it a full result - kept pushing.
Although rain drops were clearly visible, the best lap times remained within around five-seconds of pole, indicating that conditions were not too treacherous.
Sure enough the race was left to run until the start of the 15th lap, with final results then taken from the end of lap 14 and full points awarded.
Vinales, winner at Le Mans, was thus credited with a 2.555sec victory over RW Racing's Luis Salom, with Maverick's team-mate Gadea in third.
125cc World Championship leader Nico Terol did not start Saturday's Dutch TT at Assen due to tendon damage in his right hand, reducing his lead from 35 to 27 points over Jonas Folger heading into next weekend's Italian Grand Prix.
Folger, starting from seventh on the grid after a rough crash in qualifying, made a brief appearance in the lead group during a frantic first-half of the race, but was back in eighth when the red flags were shown.
Vinales is 38 points from the top in fifth.
Race results - Assen:
1. Vinales (Aprilia) 14 laps
2. Salom (Aprilia) +2.555s
3. Gadea (Aprilia) +2.655s
4. Cortese (Aprilia) +3.670s
5. Zarco (Derbi) +3.903s
6. Kent (Aprilia) +4.469s
7. Vazquez (Derbi) +8.828s
8. Folger (Aprilia) +10.416s
9. Schrotter (Mahindra) +10.791s
10. Faubel (Aprilia) +13.238s
13. Webb (Mahindra) +25.420s
25. Stafford (Aprilia) +48.341s
26. Mackenzie (Aprilia) +1m 3.962
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