By Lisa Lewis

Spots of rain did nothing to cool down the leaders in Moto3's Australian Grand Prix: Alex Rins won by just three thousandths from Maverick Vinales as no-one escaped from the leading pack, with six riders still in contention for victory on the final lap.

The tense race saw the lead change corner by corner as the pack pushed each other around Phillip Island right to the flag. The Estrella Galicia riders win, his sixth of the season, cuts Luis Salom's championship lead to just five points with two rounds to go.

Team Calvo's Vinales could do no more to try to take the win and his second place leaves him 22 points adrift in the title hunt with just two races remaining.

The race also marked 19th successive lightweight class win for KTM, with the Austrian manufacturer now levelling the record held by Honda from the 1990/91 season.

Red Bull KTM rider Salom misjudged his move for the win, leaving him third in an all Spanish, KTM podium, though he was still pleased with his performance given the closeness of the race.

Alex Marquez survived his opening lap scare courtesy of Oliveira to make great progress through the field for fourth after having qualified down in 13th.

Jack Miller gave the home fans something to cheer with a well earned fifth place finish.

After an early battle with Efren Vazquez the Queenslander kept himself in contention and was as high as second, though he remained the top Honda race finisher.

Jonas Folger had to sit up after being next to Salom when he had a late wobble, leaving the Aspar rider in sixth.

Niccolo Antonelli was only dropped by the leaders in the final two laps, the Gresini rider was then reeled in by Efren Vazquez for seventh, pushing the Italian back to eighth.

The mid-pack battle was equally furious with Nicklas Ajo next to cross the line in ninth ahead of Alexis Masbou in tenth.

Racing on his 22nd birthday saw Zulfahmi Khairuddin take an eleventh place finish after his wrist was so troublesome to him in Sepang that he didn't start the race.

Jakub Kornfeil took twelfth ahead of Issac Vinales in thirteenth. The remaining points went to San Carlo Team Italia's Romano Fenati in 14th with the final point grabbed by Brad Binder for Ambrogio.

Australian rider Arthur Sissis just missed out in 16th place.

John McPhee found himself in the top ten in a return to the pace he had displayed in practice for Caretta Technology-RTG before fading to 17th.

Ana Carrasco ran with the leaders in the early stages and climbed up to fifth before eventually finishing 19th for Team Calvo.

Philipp Oettl's engine failed and he didn't start the race.

The first lap then saw Miguel Oliveira run over the kerb while trying to make up places , with nowhere to go his Mahindra hit the back of Alex Marquez bike, leading the Portuguese rider to crash. Australian wild-card rider Kavney also fell at the same corner. Oliveira rejoined to finish 26th.

The Moto3 championship resumes next weekend when the final flyaway race sees the action move to Motegi, Japan.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment