Vinales wins as Oliveira takes first ever podium and Marquez impresses in wildcard appearance
Young Spaniard Maverick Vinales once again rode a perfect race. After a good start from pole, despite being overtaken by Khairuddin and Rossi on the first corner, Viñales moved in front by the third lap and held the lead until the chequered flag. Following his overtake on Louis Rossi, the Repsol rider gradually upped his pace to leave the chasing pack in the distance. His win was his second of the season, taken little more than 130km from his home.
Behind him, a group of riders had podium aspirations and were going to fight to the end to make them a reality. Repsol riders Álex Rins, Miguel Oliveira and Álex Márquez were amongst the pack, joining by the likes of Cortese, Rossi and Faubel. Miguel Oliveira featured between fourth and eighth place for the majority of the race, but pulled out a spectacular overtake on Louis Rossi on the final lap to take third, his first podium in Moto3 and the first ever rostrum for a Portuguese rider in the world championship.
Wildcard Álex Márquez also had a great race at the Catalan GP. The Spaniard had moved up some nine positions by lap nine, up into second place in a spectacular ride. He was in with a chance of a rostrum for the majority of the contest, although in the end his lack of straight line speed cost him and he dropped down to sixth. It was nonetheless a great showing from a rider only competing in his fourth GP. He also achieved the fastest lap of the race: 1’52.583 on lap nine.
Álex Rins had started from sixteenth and moved up into eighth at one point, until he was hit by another rider on turn 4 of the fifteenth lap and forced to retire from the race.
Miguel Oliveira 3rd at 7.853 sec.
“That was a difficult race, because of the high temperatures that we have had here. In my group we were all going slower than Maverick, so he was able to escape. I had a battle with Efrén Vázquez and my teammate Álex Rins, and it was then that I lost ground. On the final lap I gave my all in order to get that podium, and I was able to do that in the end. A first podium is always something special, and I’m sure that I won’t forget it. We are very consistent and I think that we will only improve as the season goes on. We have to carry on in the same way as up to now”.
Álex Rins DNF
“We were a little far back on the grid, but I got a good start and moved up places. I was able to get into eighth and I was in a strong position. However, things happen when you are part of a group. Another rider hit me from behind and knocked me to the ground, but these things happen. I have to focus on the British GP now, which is at a track where I have no experience”.
Álex Márquez 6th at 8.267 sec.
“The start wasn’t a good one for me, but I was able to gain places later. I was able to get further and further forward and I took a lot of positions. I was part of a tough group and there was an intense fight for the front spots, but I had a lot of fun. I am very happy with the result, but now I have to turn my attention back to the CEV and then make the most of any further wild card opportunities”.
Maverick Viñales 1st – 41:50.965
“It was a little bit of a difficult race, because I was on my own up front for a long time. I pushed as hard as possible in order to get ahead, I wanted to escape any way that I could and I kept my focus in every moment. It looked difficult at the start to get away, because the track was not in great condition and I didn’t know whether it was going to rain or not. However, when I saw the sun come out I decided to push.
When I tried to break away from other riders slipstreaming me, I began to make a real gap. At one point I had a two-lap spell in which I really extended my advantage, when I really went all-out and achieved my best laps. I used the mindset that I had the others close behind and didn’t lose focus”.
Source: Repsol Media