Red Bull KTM Ajo factory rider Luis Salom claimed his second Moto3 win of 2013 at the Mugello circuit in the GP of Italy on Sunday emerging in the final stages from a hard fought pack of riders who had shadow-boxed their was throughout the 20 lap race. Salom took the top step of an all KTM podium with Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales in second and third place.
Salom who started fifth on the grid on Sunday is known for biding his time until the last phase of the race. He managed to make the break three laps before the end when Alex Marquez allowed him to pull a gap that proved decisive. Rins and Viñales gave chase but the advantage was enough for Salom to carry it to the checkered flag. The Spanish rider also won the opening GP of the season Qatar and has narrowed the gap to championship leader Vinales down to four points.
Salom’s victory was also important because it broke the winning rhythm of Vinales, who is probably his hottest rival. Vinales looked very strong throughout the race and was tipped to pick up his third race in a row after winning in Spain and France. Salom has proved to be one of the most consistent riders and like Vinales has finished on the podium in every race so far.
German rider Jonas Folger looked very strong in the open phases on the Kalex-KTM. He started on pole, his career first and pulled an early lead but quickly found Vinales boring down on him by lap four. He managed to hang on for sixth place at the end of the front group where completion was fast and furious throughout the race. Miguel Oliviera of Spain the only non-KTM rider in the group brought his his Mahindra home in fourth place.
The following pack was also tightly contested with Niklas Ajo and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin playing major roles in action, finally finishing in eighth and eleventh. Fahmi’s factory teammate Arthur Sissis was eighteenth.
Riders now have a week’s break before the Moto3 continues with the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya in a fortnight’s time.
1, Luis Salom, Spain, KTM, 39:53.827
2, Alex Rins, Spain, KTM, +0.099
3, Maverick Viñales, Spain, KTM, +0.303
4, Miguel Oliveira, Portugal, Mahindra, +0.757
5, Alex Marquez, Spain, KTM, +0.819
6, Jonas Folger, Germany, Kalex KTM, +1.433
7, Niccolò Antonelli, Italy, FTR Honda, +16.464
8, Niklas Ajo, Finland, KTM, +18.627
9, Eric Granado, Brazil, Kalex KTM, +18.957
10, Jack Miller, Australia, FTR Honda, +19.026
11, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Malaysia, KTM, +19.147
15, Jasper Iwema, Netherlands, Kalex KTM, +28.582
18, Arthur Sissis, Australia, KTM, +29.214
19, Philipp Oettl, Germany, Kalex KTM, +30.401
21, Toni Finsterbusch, Germany, Kalex KTM, +30.657
25, Livio Loi, Belgium, Kalex KTM, +42.025
26, Ana Carrasco, Spain, KTM, +53.508
DNF, Jakub Kornfeil, Czech Republic, Kalex KTM, 1 Lap
1, M. Viñales, 106
2, Salom, 102
3, Rins, 81
4, Folger, 63
5, Marquez, 35
6, Binder, 34
7, Oliveira, 33
8, Khairuddin, 33
9, Kornfeil, 27
10, Masbou, 27
11, Ajo, 26
13, Sissis, 19
20, Granado, 7
21, Iwema, 6
23, Oettl, 1
24, Loi, 1
Moto3 Manufacturers Standings after Round 5
1, KTM, 125
2, Kalex KTM, 63
3, Mahindra, 41
Images courtesy KTM Racing