A ten rider last lap scramble for victory in Rd. 10 of the Moto3 World Championship at Indianapolis in a finish far too close to call saw KTM rider Romani Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46), and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) pick up places 2-3 behind winner Efren Vazquez of Spain on Sunday.
Miller, who started on pole for the sixth time this season was in the mix for the entire 23-lap race and leaves the US circuit having marginally extended his championship points lead from 19 to 21. Miller’s closest rivals for the championship – Vazquez, Alex Marquez both of Spain and the Italian Fenati are only separated by seven points as the championship continues to be hard fought and very tight.
Miller got away well from pole and led the race for the opening laps but he was hotly pursued by no less than six riders right through to the final three laps when the group had extended to 10 all fiercely challenging for the lead. Miller, Fenati, Vazquez and the two Estrella Galicia riders Marquez and Rins constantly exchanged the lead back and forth as they planned strategies for what was shaping up to be a last lap charge for the line.
French rider Alexis Masbou joined the scramble in the last laps after having fought his way back from a difficult start. Both Miller and Fenati had their share of leading the pack but it was Vazquez who finally prevailed just as threatening raindrops started to fall in the closing minutes of the race.
Miller, a Red Bull athlete, said later that although he would have liked the win, he was still happy to be on the podium. “We’ve managed to score points that allow us to continue leading the World Championship. We finished the race without making stupid mistakes and I’m very happy about that. We have a good advantage over those behind us and that’s good for us, but now we need to focus on Brno, where I think the bike will be much better suited to the track than here at Indianapolis. We knew the weekend was going to be a struggle, but at Brno think we have another good opportunity, so I’m already looking forward to next weekend.”
Fenati also said it had been a good race with many strong riders and he was also pleased to be on the podium for the championship and for his team.
Teams will make a quick return to Europe for the next round at Brno in the Czech Republic next weekend, a home race for Miller’s factory teammate and rookie Karel Hanika, who finished in the points at thirteenth place in Indianapolis. Both Miller and Hanika ride the KTM RC 250GP factory bike.
There are still eight round left in the competition, including the away races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia. The season winds up as always in Valencia, Spain in November.
More at www.motogp.com
Moto3 Results – Rd. 10 Indianapolis
1, Efren Vasquez, ESP, Honda, 39:12.977
2, Romano Fenati, ITA, KTM, 39:13.042
3, Jack Miller, AUS, KTM, 39:13.196
4, Alexis Masbou, FRA, Honda, 39:13.349
5, Alex Rins, ESP, Honda, 39:13.696
6, Alex Marquez, ESP, Honda, 39:13.990
7, Miguel Oliveira, POR, Mahindra, 39:14.287
8, Juanfran Guevara, ESP, Kalex KTM, 39:14.872
9, Brad Binder, RSA, Mahindra, 39:15.014
10, Jakub Kornfeil, CZE, KTM, 39:15.238
11, Enea Bastianini, ITA, KTM, 39:16.409
13, Karel Hanika, CZE, KTM, 39:22.575
17, Isaac Viñales, ESP, KTM, 39:29.582
18, Niccolo Antonelli, ITA, KTM, 39:29.638
22, Eric Granado, BRA, KTM, 39:37.077
24, Hafiq Azmi, MAL, KTM, 39:58.821
DNF, Francesco Bagnaia, ITA, KTM, 23:15.250
Moto3 Standings after Round 10
1, Miller, 158
3, Vazquez, 137
2, Marquez, 133
4, Fenati, 130
5, Rins, 118
6, Masbou, 92
7, Viñales, 90
8, Oliveira, 62
9, Binder, 56
10, Kornfeil, 54
11, Bastianini, 51
14, Bagnaia, 42
17, Hanika, 19
18, Antonelli, 18
19, Loi, 17
26, Granado, 2
Moto3 Manufacturers Standings after Round 10
1, KTM, 226
2, Honda, 203
3, Mahindra, 91
Image courtesy KTM Racing