Red Bull KTM rider Sandro Cortese rode a classic hard and tactical clever race in Misano on Sunday to seal the victory in a typical do or die Moto3 battle on Sunday on the circuit newly named in memory of Italian racer Marco Simoncelli. Luis Salom of Spain on the Kalex-KTM was second in front of Italian Romano Fenati.
It was a brilliant ride for the German racer on the KTM Moto3 bike and he has surged ahead in the points to have a lead of 46 points over rival Maverick Vinales of Spain. Vinales fought hard from the middle of the pack at the start to be a podium contender in the final laps but eventually finished fifth. It was Cortese’s third GP win of the season but he has been a model of consistency and was on the podium in every race other than a wet weather race in France when he finished sixth.
“I think it was one of the best but most difficult race of the season,” Cortese said. “Its hard to keep your concentration and do your best but in the last two laps I gave 200 percent and took risks and managed to pull away.”
Other KTM-driven machines in the top ten mix were Germany’s Jonas Folger at sixth and Australian Arthur Sissis in tenth.
Cortese started on pole after a difficult few qualifying sessions where changeable weather prevented teams from coming up with the right settings but the race day turned on near perfect conditions. Cortese got away well in the 23-lap race but right from the start the race shaped up to be a nail biter. Cortese and Folger were early leaders but Fenati of Italy proved one of the hungriest riders on the circuit. He challenged Cortese and led for most of the race, in the end picking up too much tire wear to challenge when most necessary, in the final corners.
Cortese rode his usual cool and calculated race and was still tucked in behind Fenati when riders entered their eighteenth of 23 laps. But at that stage nothing was clear with no less than 11 riders in a tightly packed group and ready to take advantage of any opening. Cortese slipped past Fenati in the nineteenth lap and Salom, whose last lap tactics have also been honed this season eventually slipped into second saying at the end of the race: “This was a very hard race. There were too many riders in the lead group and it was not possible to take Sandro in the last lap.”
Riders next compete in Aragon, Spain on September 30 before embarking on three overseas racers in the southern hemisphere before returning for the finale in Valencia, Spain in November.
Image courtesy KTM Racing