Alex Rins takes Australian victory by slim margin, Alex Marquez fourth
Alex Rins today took a big step forward in the battle for the Moto3 title in Australia, winning a close race by just 0.003s. He did so ahead of Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom, with whom he is competing for the World Championship crown. Rins has now cut the gap between him and leader Luis Salom to just 5 points.
It was another group race featuring the usual suspects, but also some special guests: Salom, Rins, Marquez and Viñales were joined by Folger, Miller and Antonelli. Continual overtakes saw the lead change hands, and both Rins and Alex Marquez had spells in front. In a thrilling finale, Rins took the victory by the smallest of margins, winning out against Viñales and Salom.
Alex Marquez, who made a great comeback through the field from thirteenth on the grid, overtook numerous rivals despite taking a bump from Miguel Oliveira at the start of the race. He was taken off track by the incident, but would still catch the lead group with 18 laps to go. He fought right until the final corner of the race for a podium spot, missing out by just 3 tenths of a second.
“It was a fun race and very hard fought, with a group of seven riders at the front. The important thing is that we are working very well with the team, because at this Grand Prix it was hard for us to find the best setup and in qualifying we didn’t use the right one. Thanks to them I was able to be up in the fight for the win. Before the start I had a meeting with Emilio [Alzamora], Jose [Carrion] and Carlos [Perez]-my technician, to decide the best race strategy and we planned to prepare well the last right hander, in order to be very fast for the last two corners. It worked out for us and we won by 0.003.
We are five points behind Luis, but that does not change anything, because we will continue going race-by-race at both Japan and Valencia, giving our all.”
“We knew the race would be very difficult today because we were starting far back. I made a good start and at the end of the main straight I took an outside line which had many bumps. Some riders passed me then. I also lost positions in the incident with Oliveira. At that time I reset myself, calmed down and started to push. On those first laps I wore down my tyres reaching the lead group and at the end of the race I had problems because of this. But we should be happy, because I think we are back to riding as we did in Misano, where I felt good on the bike. I will try to follow this path to see if we can take another step forward and be up there with the leaders on the closing laps of the race. Here at Phillip Island the problem was the qualifying session, so we will try to improve this in Japan.”
Source: Repsol Media