Luis Salom's 2013 season review

© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool reviews the Moto3 rider's 2013 season, ahead of his move up to Moto2.

Luis Salom had a season to remember in Moto3. The Spaniard was involved in the closest World Championship finish across all three categories, after a season-long battle with his two rivals Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins.

As Salom gets ready to make the step up to Moto2 in 2014, looks back on his 2013 campaign's key moments...

Luis Salom leads the Moto3 race in Qatar© GEPA/Gold & Goose

Qatar: Off to a winning start

Salom came into the 2013 Moto3 season as one of the outstanding title favourites, and he left little doubt as to his credibility when he took victory from pole at the opening round of the year.

The two riders who were to prove his main competitors for the crown throughout the campaign – Viñales and Rins – followed him across the line in second and third.

Italy, Catalonia and Netherlands: Three in a row

After a win for Rins in Austin and victories for Viñales in Spain and France (all races at which Salom stood on the podium) Salom went into the fifth round trailing the latter by 13 points, but Mugello saw the start of a blistering run of form.

Three wins on the trot at the Italian, Catalonian and Dutch GPs saw Salom atop of the standings and with a narrow 10-point advantage.

Luis Salom celebrates victory at Silverstone© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool

Czech Republic and Great Britain: Back to back wins

Second place in Germany was followed by fifth place in Indianapolis, Salom's first time off the podium after being on it for all eight rounds to that point.

With Viñales and Rins edging the gap closer, Salom responded in style with wins at the Sachsenring and Silverstone to open up a 26-point lead over second-placed Viñales. After 11 rounds Salom had a grip on proceedings...

San Marino and Aragón: Looking over the shoulder

As fast as he had opened that gap, it was closed back up again as fourth place finishes at Misano and Aragón saw Rins leapfrog Viñales into second place in the Championship and get within nine points of Salom. The pressure was being applied, with four rounds to go.

Malaysia: Back to winning ways

The response was firm from Salom, as he won from pole in Malaysia to prise open the gap again. Not to much, but with a 14-point breathing space things were set up nicely for the next round in Australia where Salom placed third behind Rins and Viñales in the race.

Luis Salom on the grid at Motegi© GEPA/Gold & Goose

Japan: First – and only – DNF of the season

By this stage in the season it was clear that any mistake would be pounced upon, and it was. Just five points separated leader Salom and Rins, with Viñales seemingly losing touch in third and at a further 18 points adrift.

However, everything was turned on its head in Japan where both Salom and Rins crashed, with neither scoring points. Second place for Viñales in the race set things up for a grand finale in Valencia, ahead of which just five points separated the trio.

Valencia: Down to the bitter end

It all came down to a final-race shootout between Salom, Viñales and Rins. For Salom, the dream of becoming Moto3 World Champion died on lap 15 when he went down.

Despite keeping the bike running and rejoining, it was too late for Salom as Viñales won ahead of Jonas Folger and Rins to take the title, with Salom ending third in the overall Championship.

Next stop: Moto2

Salom now steps up to Moto2 in 2014 with the Pons Racing team, who won this year's title with MotoGP-bound Pol Espargaró. His team-mate will be the man he battled tooth and nail with for the 2013 Moto3 crown: Viñales.