By Lisa Lewis
Maverick Vinales fought all the way to the line with a hard move at the perfect moment to take victory and the Moto3 title at the Valencia Grand Prix.
With only five points covering the leading Spanish trio heading into the race, and a win for either Luis Salom, Alex Rins or Vinales securing the title, a tense race was always guaranteed.
With just his third victory of the season, and his first since Le Mans back in May, Vinales had a dream race, looking strong and confident after only moving back into title contention after the crash filled Motegi round.
The title contenders had filled the first three positions from the opening lap, playing games with each other at the front, while Jonas Folger and Jack Miller held on to make a leading pack of five hunting for a win.
It became a straight fight between Vinales and Rins when championship leader Salom crashed out losing the front at turn five with ten laps to go. He rejoined and finished in the points in 14th.
The Mallorcan had lead the championship from the Catalunya round right up to the race start.
Jack Miller then tumbled out of fourth in the closing stages, leaving Rins, Vinales and Folger clear at the front.
Rins had looked the most nervous on the grid and survived an early wobble to play cat and mouse with Vinales for the remainder as Aspar rider Folger sat behind and watched the title leaders duel it out.
As the Team Calvo rider powered away to win, Estrella Galicia's Rins was also passed by Folger right on the finishing line, putting him in third and meaning Vinales finished the year with a 12 point lead.
Stalking the leaders paid off as second was also the Germans best result of the season.
Salom and Rins were quick to congratulate Vinlaes, with Rins clapping his rival as he crossed the line.
Behind all the action up front top rookie Alex Marquez was a clear fourth for Estrella Galicia.
Efren Vazquez was the top Mahindra finisher in fifth, Ahead of Alexis Masbou in sixth, the best placed Honda, and Maverick's cousin Isaac in seventh.
Eighth went to an ever improving Ana Carrasco for her second points finish and best result of the season after battling against Masbou for much of the distance.
Philipp Oettl concluded a strong finish to his debut season in Moto3 with ninth for Interwetten.