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Moto3: Vinales wins frantic Assen battle
30 June 2012 By Lisa Lewis
Blusesns Avintia rider Maverick Vinales snatched a last-gasp Moto3 victory at Assen, in a race so close the remaining podium positions were decided by a video review.
Vinales came out victorious after a late tussle for the line with Sandro Cortese and his Red Bull KTM Ajo team mate Danny Kent, who after a review of the video footage was promoted to his first ever podium finish.
Frenchman Luis Salom had originally been lead in to parc ferme but was relegated to fourth for RW Racing GP (Kalex KTM) with Louis Rossi, who had also been in contention finishing fifth for Racing Team Germany (FTR Honda).
Matters were complicated by the fact that Cortese's transponder had been malfunctioning all race which meant he was often absent from the timing screens.
Kent had powered into the lead from the first corner but Cortese used his aggression all race to push his way to the front.
When Vinales found his way through the pack from sixth it set the standard for the rest of the race, with riders regularly spread across the track at every corner challenging for the lead.
Luis Salom and Louis Rossi were always in the leading pack applying pressure, while team-mates Kent and Cortese collided with just three laps remaining.
MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner felt some of Cortese's moves were over the limit: "Cortese needs to have more than a slap on the wrist for his riding in this race. He's going to cause a huge crash if he's doesn't stop it," the Australian wrote on Twitter (@Official_CS27).
Vinales said in parc ferme that he had found the opening laps slow and hard to judge, but was excited by the racing in the later stages where "Cortese, Kent and me pass and we enjoy a lot."
Kent added that his first podium felt "mega" and was happy to have finished the race after his battle with Cortsese and hoped that his rostrum position was "hopefully the first of many this year."
Alex Rins finished in sixth for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team on his Suter Honda while Alexis Masbou finished seventh for the Caretta Technology Honda team.
Niklas Ajo was eighth for TT Motion Events Racing (KTM) with Efren Vazquez (FTR Honda) and Portugal's Miguel Oliveira completing the top ten for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 just ahead of a late charging Zulfahmi Khairuddin (KTM) in eleventh.
Australian Jack Miller, riding with two broken collarbones, was given a ride through penalty for a jump start but did not see it on his board and was black flagged from the race.
Despite running with the pack early on San Carlo Gresini rider Niccolo Antonelli crashed out of the race as did British rider Danny Webb whose race ended in the gravel for Mahindra with 7 laps to go from 23rd position. His team-mate Schrotter also failed to finish. Guilian Pedone also retired from the race.