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Moto3: Vinales takes home Catalan victory

Blusens Avintia rider Maverick Vinales wins the Catalunya Moto3 race by a comfortable gap of 7.752 seconds. Cortese finished second to keep his championship lead, Oliveira takes his maiden podium in third.
By Lisa Lewis

Maverick Vinales eased to a home victory after breaking away from the leading pack in a hectic Catalan Moto3 race.

Vinales, who along with Louis Rossi and Efren Vazquez had formed a leading group, made his break when championship leader Sandro Cortese made a lunge for second inside the chasing pack - then continued to ease away thereafter.

The remaining positions were tightly contested with Cortese battling his Red Bull KTM into second, overcoming the hand injury sustained in Saturday practice. Just behind him in third was Miguel Oliveira, who becomes the first Portuguese rider to take the podium, despite a wobble with 10 laps to go for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team.

Winner in Le Mans Louis Rossi had the exhaust hanging off his Racing Team Germany FTR Honda for the latter stages of the race but still fought home for fourth place, fellow Frenchman Alexis Masbou finished his 100th grand prix in style bringing home his Caretta Technology Honda fifth.

Current leader in the Spanish championship and Catalan wild-card rider Alex Marquez showed that a talent for riding runs in the family with an impressive and hard fought sixth, he had been as high as second on the Estrella Galicia Suter Honda during the hotly contested race.

Hector Faubel seemed to struggle for power but the series veteran still managed a strong performance for the Bankia Aspar team in seventh while early leader Zulfahmi Khairuddin staged an impressive comeback, working his way back up through the pack to cross the line eighth on his AirAsia-Sic-Ajo KTM.

Italian rookie Romano Fenati for Team Italia FMI and RW Racing's Luis Salom completed the top ten.

Efren Vazquez had been battling with the leading group when he crashed his JHK T- Shirt Laglisse into the gravel with 7 laps remaining.

Top British finisher was Scottish wildcard rider John McPhee for the Racing Steps Foundation KRP team, who brought his Honda home in 19th, Danny Kent finishing just behind in 20th on the Red Bull KTM. Danny Webb and his German team mate Marcel Schrotter both failed to finish the race on their Mahindras.

Moto3 continues at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in two weeks time.

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Maverick is the real deal. He is the next Marquez, and will be the next JLo. Still, surprising great race - again - from Cortese. Don't hand the title to Maverick just yet. Best of all, though, Miguel Oliveira finally got the podium. Now stay on it.

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