Red Bull KTM Ajo factory rider Sandro Cortese crossed the finish line in first place in the Moto3 GP of Germany to surge ahead in the championship by 18 points. His win made it a perfect weekend for KTM as the Austrian manufacturer was at the German circuit to present the 2013 racing bikes.
Sandro, riding the KTM Moto3 factory bike, became the first German pole man and first national winner on the Sachsenring since the MotoGP returned to the circuit in 1998. His victory was greeted by wild cheers from the home crowd who had sat through a cloudburst that drenched the circuit just before the start. Alexi Masbou of France was second and Luis Salom of Spain took third place riding the Kalex-KTM.
Photos by Gold and Goose.
The win gave Cortese his second for the season but with the exception on one race he has been on the podium in every GP to be a model of consistency. His lead in the points was particularly advantageous as his main rival for the title Maverick Vinales of Spain had a disastrous race and finished right out of the points.
“This is an unbelievable feeling,” Cortese said. “I knew before the race that I could be quite strong in these conditions. I had to try to stay calm through the 27 laps because it is so easy to make a mistake. Then I tried to go on the attack in the last laps.”
In fact Cortese rode a masterly race in what were potentially treacherous conditions. The German circuit was initially covered with standing water but as it dried out during the race, tires became an issue. He started on pole and settled into the middle of the field in the first half of the race before tucking in behind Masbou when the French rider began to up the race pace. Then, after diving in and out of residual water to keep the tires as cool as possible, Cortese waited for his moment, surged into the lead in the penultimate lap and put down the hammer to take the win.
Other KTM-driven rider who finished in the top 10 were Malaysian Zulfahmi Khairuddin on the KTM Moto3 factory bike at sixth, Spain’s Hector Faubel on the Kalex-KTM and Australian Arthur Sissis on the KTM factory bike at ninth.
Predictably the extremely difficult conditions also claimed a total of eight non finishers, including Britain’s Danny Kent who started on the front row, Faubel’s teammate Alberto Moncayo and South African Brad Binder who was up with the leaders in the first part of the race.
MotoGP of Germany – Sachsenring Circuit – Round 8
1, Sandro Cortese, Germany, KTM, 45’36.868
2, Alexis Masbou, France, Honda, +0.635
3, Luis Salom, Spain, Kalex KTM, +3.998
4, Jack Miller, Australia, Honda, +4.051
5, Efren Vazquez, Spain, FTR Honda, ++12.119
6, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Malaysia, KTM, +25.174
7, Hector Faubel, Spain, Kalex KTM, +25.499
8, Luca Gruenwald, Germany, Honda, +26.087
9, Arthur Sissis, Australia, KTM +29.675
10, Jakub Kornfeil, Czech Republic, FTR Honda, +29.891
14, Niklas Ajo, Finland, KTM, 1’10.253
DNF, Danny Kent, GBR, KTM
DNF, Alberto Moncayo, Kalex KTM
DNF, Brad Binder, RSA, Kalex KTM
Moto3 Standings after Round 8
1, Cortese, 148
2, M. Viñales, 130
3, Salom, 104
4, Masbou, 71
5, Fenati, 65
6, Khairuddin, 59
9, Kent, 42
13, Sissis, 38
14, Faubel, 38
15, Moncayo, 36
23, Ajo, 16
28, Binder, 5