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Le Mans Moto3: Back to back wins for Vinales in France
19 May 2013
By Lisa Lewis
Maverick Vinales won Sunday's Moto3 French Grand Prix, becoming the season's first double winner courtesy of back-to-back victories at Jerez and Le Mans.
Despite the gloomy, damp conditions the race was declared dry before the start. It was the same group of riders – Vinales, Folger, Rins and Salom who made a break at the front.
Vinales chose to up the pace at just the right time, posting the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.
This allowed him to ride a mature race and pull away, finishing 1.264 seconds ahead of nearest rival Estrella Galicia rider Alex Rins.
Red Bull KTM rider Luis Salom said he had found the race tough as he still had a lot of pain from his crash on Friday but held on to third.
His second career win at Le Mans means the Spanish teenager now leads the world championship standings by 13 points from Salom.
Choosing the softer option tyre kept Jonas Folger off the podium and after leading early on the German had to settle for fourth.
Both Estrella Galicia bikes made the top five with Rins' team-mate Alex Marquez securing fifth.
Jakub Kornfeil circulated quicker than the leading riders in the mid- section of the race to make up ground and pushed on to finish in sixth for Redox RW Racing.
Positions in the lower part of the top ten were hotly contested with Romano Fenati showing a lot of his old spark to fight to the front and take seventh for San Carlo Team Italia. He was also the highest placed Honda finisher behind a top six dominated by KTM.
Brad Binder finished in eighth for Ambrogio Racing ahead of Alexis Masbou who was the top finishing home rider bringing his Ongetta-Rivacold bike home in ninth. Maverick Vinales' cousin Isaac completed the top ten finishers.
British rider John McPhee had looked to be on for his first top ten finish of the season until his Caretta Technology bike touched with Masbou. The pair previously had big coming together in Qatar which wrecked McPhee's bike.
The Scotsman still scored points for his Caretta technology team with a 11th place finish.
Also scoring points were Jack Miller, who had been quickest in the wet warm-up for Caretta in 12th, Arthur Sissis in13th for Red Bull KTM in 13th and Alessandro Tonucci for La Fonte Tascaracing in 14th. The final point was taken by rookie Philipp Oettl for Paddock TT Motion Events.
A huge wobble for Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin also took out Avant Tenco's Niklas Ajo who was directly behind and could do nothing to avoid a collision. Despite hitting the Malaysian riders legs as they ploughed into the gravel both riders amazingly walked away from the accident.
After starting from second Miguel Oliveira was the first to crash out of the race while making up places after dropping down the order.
No Mahindra bikes finished the race as Efren Vazquez was unable to qualify after sustaining a collarbone injury in practice.
Kent rider Danny Webb was declared unfit to race due to concussion from his qualifying crash, in which he also broke his foot.
Moto3 returns in two weeks time when the racing action arrives at Mugello in Italy.
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