KTM rider Alex Rins won a tight three-way battle with Maverick Vinales and Red Bull KTM Ajo factory rider Luis Salom on a restarted five-lap sprint on the magnificent Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas on Sunday after the Moto3 GP was red flagged after the 10th lap of the original race because of an accident.
It was perhaps fitting that the three riders on the podium were those in front when the original race was stopped after Dutch rider jasper Iwema crashed and required medical attention on the track. He was taken to hospital for scans and treatment.
It was the first GP victory for the 17-year-old Spaniard who also started on pole. He looked impressive, racing with flair and speed throughout the weekend on this brand new circuit that features nine right hand corners and eleven left-handers as well as a big 1200 m back straight. But coming into the final lap it was far from decided who would emerge the winner. Salom made a move and seemed to have snatched the advantage but the race went down to the wire and Rins counter attacked going into the final corner and slipped by. Meanwhile Vinales had closed right up on the front two riders and slip-streamed past Salom into second place just meters from the final finish line.
A race of two halves
It was the Spanish trio Rins, Vilanes and Salom who had dominated the first half of the race but the first two had made the break and led Salom by three seconds when the race was stopped. Team boss Aki Ajo: ”We were actually lucky with this break because Luis’ front tire was completely gone so we had the chance to change it.” But in the end, even this was not enough to give Salom victory and allow him to continue his winning streak after taking round one in Qatar.
The restart was timely for Germany’s Jonas Folger on the Kalex-KTM who finished fourth in the sprint, thus gaining a couple of positions. Red Bull KTM Ajo riders Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis also benefitted, finishing further up the order in the restarted race at seven and twelve respectively. Sissis was riding with an injured wrist but had dropped to seventeenth in the first half of the race, obviously in pain. KTM rider Niklas Ajo suffered the reverse fate. He looked very strong on this circuit and was up with the second main group when the race was stopped but eventually finished fifteenth.
The GP was the first-ever motorcycle race on this new American circuit and it delivered another strong showing by the KTM driven Moto3 bikes. Four of the top five finishers were on KTM-driven bikes, three on the KTm and folger on the Kalex-KTM. The next Moto3 GP is at Jerez, Spain on May 5
MotoGP of the Americas – Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas – Round 2
1, Alex Rins, Spain, KTM, 11:26.535
2, Maverick Viñales, Spain, KTM, +0.244
3, Luis Salom, Spain, KTM, +0.547
4, Jonas Folger, Germany, Kalex KTM, +1.230
5, Miguel Oliveira, Portugal, Mahindra, +8.276
6, Jack Miller, Australia, FTR Honda, +8.603
7, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Malaysia, KTM, +10.147
8, Alexis Masbou, France, FTR Honda, +12.037
9, Brad Binder, Republic of South Africa, Suter Honda, +12.263
10, Jakub Kornfeil, Czech Republic, Kalex KTM, +12.737
12, Arthur Sissis, Australia, KTM, +14.030
15, Niklas Ajo, Finland, KTM, +21.094
17, Philipp Oettl, Germany, Kalex KTM, +21.351
20, Ana Carrasco, Spain, KTM, +22.003
23, Eric Granado, Brazil, Kalex KTM, +31.591
DNF, Alex Marquez, Spain, KTM
DNF, Toni Finsterbusch, Germany Kalex KTM
DNF, Jasper Iwema, Netherlands, Kalex KTM
DNF, Florian Alt, Germany, Kalex KTM
Moto3 Standings after Round 2
1, Rins, 41
2, Salom, 41
3, M. Viñales, 40
4, Folger, 24
5, Oliveira, 20
6, Khairuddin, 19
7, Marquez, 13