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Moto3: Danny Kent snatches first win in Motegi madness
14 October 2012 By Lisa Lewis
Red Bull KTM rider Danny Kent took a dramatic Moto3 win at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in a race which could have decided the inaugural Moto3 World Championship. It is Kent's first ever grand prix victory.
After a tentative start to the race by Moto3 standards, the 18 year-old British rider grabbed his chance as the last lap chaos unfolded.
Luis Salom had already crashed his RW Racing Kalex into Jonas Folger's Aspar machine - they had to be separated in the gravel when Salom's apology for collecting the German rider was met with a frosty reception.
Championship leader Sandro Cortese then found himself in exactly the position he needed to seal the title - Salom out and Maverick Vinales in an off-podium position.
Kent then pulled a clean pass on his German team-mate at the end of the back straight and was easily out of trouble when Cortese tangled with Team Italia's Alessandro Tonucci on the exit, who then in-turn glanced a falling Cortese's head.
Cortese recovered from his under-tunnel crash to eventually finish sixth, fuming at Kent for winning on the slow-down lap and cursing and yelling “stupid” in the Red Bull KTM pit garage. Cortese now leads the championship by 56 points.
Kent rose above the blame game and - although concerned to be taking the heat for a crash that was nothing to do with him - was keen to point out that he had said “if I thought I could do it I was going to do it” pre-race, while emphasising “I didn't touch him”.
He is the first Brit to win since Bradley Smith won his final 125cc race in Valencia in 2010.
A relieved Vinales was pleased to avoid trouble and claim second as he revealed in Parc Ferme that his FTR Honda had “no top speed” meaning he found it “difficult to pass”. The Spaniard claims back second in the championship standings from Salom.
Tonucci stayed calm and stayed on his FTR Honda to claim his best ever result, his previous highest placing being tenth, he said that his podium placing achieved from his best qualifying result was “incredible” and promised more good results for the rest of the season.
Alex Rins was fourth for the Estrella Galicia team while Zulfahmi Khairuddin had his usual battle with the AirAsia Ajo KTM as the race went on and despite a strong start finished fifth, just ahead of Cortese.
Rins' team mate Miguel Oliveira was seventh and Louis Rossi eighth for Racing Team Germany. Efren Vazquez took the flag in ninth for the JHK t-shirt Laglisse team while Romano Fenati finished tenth making it a great day for Team Italia.
Arthur Sissis Red Bull KTM was eleventh with San Carlo Gresini FTR Honda rider and Niccolo Antonelli claimed twelfth. Niklas Ajo finished 13th for TT Motion events with Alex Marquez next to finish for the Ambrogio Next team. The final points scoring position was filled by Jakub Kornfeil's FTR Honda.
Japanese wild card rider Hyuga Watanabe finished an impressive 16th. British rider John McPhee was 21st for Caretta on the KRP Honda and fellow countryman Danny Webb finished 26th for Mahindra.