Sandro Cortese took another step along the path to the Moto3 World Championship with a perfectly judged victory in Misano. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Motorsports rider set off from pole and though it was the usual intense race long battle for the lead he found a little extra just over the last 2 laps to make sure he was not under threat in the final corners.
Even better for his championship hopes was the fact that arch rival Maverick Vinales was pushed back into 5th place right at the end by Luis Salom, Romano Fenati and Alex Rins. All of them had given Cortese a hard time through most of the race, Fenati had qualified 2nd and had his fair share of the lead in front of his home crowd.
It was another very strong showing from Salom to take 2nd. The ex Rookie had qualified 5th, in the middle of the 2nd row between fellow Red Bull athletes Danny Kent and Jonas Folger. Kent had setting problems and did not feature in the race but Folger was another of the fierce participants in the lead battle and finally finished 6th.
Cortese now has a 46 point lead over Vinales with Salom a further 10 behind but the German confirmed that it was no easy win. “That was the best and most difficult races so far this season, So difficult to keep the concentration, when Rins and Fenati were battling I thought it was going to be very hard. Then for the last laps I pushed past 100% to try and get away and of course that last half a lap is a lot easier when you have a small advantage.
Salom is closing in on Vinales for 2nd in the title chase and said how much he had to work for it. “So hard that last lap, too many riders in the group, Sandro was impossible to catch but 2nd is great and I'm happy for my team they did a great job this weekend.”
Marquez incredible in Moto2
Marc Marquez, gave another brilliant display of his awesome talent to snatch victory from arch rival Pol Espargaro on the final lap of the Misano Moto2 battle. The Red Bull athlete thus extended his world Championship advantage to 53 points over Espargaro with his 7th win of the season, his 3rd in a row.
For a long while though it did not look as though it would end like that. Following a restart due to an oil spill, Andrea Iannone set off from pole as he had been leading the race from Marquez when it was stopped. The Italian shot away into an early lead, leaving Marquez to battle with Espargaro and the rest.
Marquez had a big moment early in his pursuit of Iannone and both Espargaro and his team mate Esteve Rabat went past, it handed Espargaro a nice breathing space. Marquez got back in front of Rabat quickly enough but had his work cut out chasing Espargaro who seemed to have no answer to Iannone's pace.
The riders had all been able to change tyres for the restart and with a shortened, 14 lap race there was less concern about tyre wear. However as the laps wound down Iannone began to struggle for pace and suddenly both Espargaro and Marquez were closing.
They swept past on lap 11 and Iannone had no answer, the face of the race had changed and it was to be decided between the Spanish arch rivals. Espargaro knew that nothing less than a win would suffice to slow Marquez on his charge to the title. Marquez might accept 2nd with his handsome points lead but then he is a racer and a champion.
Espargaro led onto the last lap but Marquez was right there and went inside at the looping left hander early in the last lap. Espargaro tried to repass immediately but couldn't. Marquez led down the back straight but Espargaro was right in his slipstream and made a strong overtaking move passing Marquez on the inside under heavy breaking at the end of the straight. He was too deep though and Marquez snatched back the advantage as his rival ran wide.
Espargaro recovered to hound Marquez through the last 2 lefts onto the finish straight but Marquez held on and Espargaro shook his fist in frustration as he crossed the line 2nd. Iannone completed the rostrum positions.