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Historic MotoGP win for Suzuki at Silverstone

Motorsport

Silverstone, Northamptonshire – Maverick Vinales took an historic first win for Suzuki since its return to Grands Prix, becoming the seventh winner so far in 2016. Vinales got a front row start and was in a class of his own at Silverstone, pulling away to win by more than three seconds.

Earlier, South African Moto3 star Brad Binder bounced back from his Brno crash, just a week earlier, to take his fourth Grand Prix win of 2016, increasing his lead in the championship standings to 86 points.

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Vinales was in a class of his own at Silverstone as he pulled away to win by more than three seconds. Picture: MotoGP.com

MOTOGP

There was drama on lap one, as Vinales led the charge off the line before Loris Baz (Ducati) and Pol Espargaro (Yamaha Tech 3) collided and crashed heavily, bringing out the red flags and send both to the medical centre.

At the restart, the front row of the grid of Honda privateer Cal Crutchlow, Valentino Rossi on the works Yamaha and Viñales fought for the lead, with Crutchlow holding the early lead before Vinales got through and began to pull away.

At that point Honda works rider Marc Marquez was leading a five bike train of Rossi, Crutchlow, Ducati Team rider Andrea Iannone and Dani Pedrosa on the second factory Honda, with Yamaha’s reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo having a difficult race as he circulated in eighth despite his stellar record at this circuit.

In mid-race Iannone muscled his way to the front of this group, but before he could try reeling in the Suzuki - now more than two seconds clear – he lost the Ducati with six laps to go and slid out of the race.

That left Crutchlow in second and arch-rivals Rossi and Marquez fighting over third; after some incredible moves from each rider Marquez managed to make a pass that stuck and began closing on Crutchlow - only to run deep and lose two places, slotting back in behind Pedrosa.

A late charge saw him pass his team-mate at the death to finish fourth, Andrea Dovizioso on the second Ducati Team bike came home sixth after a solid ride, despite having twisted his knee in a testing crash ahead of the event, with Aleix Espargaro, also battling after a recent injury, seventh on the second Suzuki.

Lorenzo finished eighth, having struggled for grip throughout the race, with Ducati privateer Danilo Petrucci and Alvaro Bautista on the sole surviving Aprilia rounding out the top 10.

RESULTS

POINTS AFTER 12 OF 18 ROUNDS

MOTO2

Thomas Luthi came to Silverstone following a heavy crash in qualifying for the Czech GP that knocked him out cold and ruled him out for the weekend with concussion – but just eight days he found incredible pace take the win in what is rapidly becoming known as the Kalex Kup, in a dramatic finale that saw Franco Morbidelli beat Takaaki Nakagami in a last-lap duel after Johann Zarco and polesitter Sam Lowes collided.

Defending champion and points leader Zarco was subsequently given a 30-second time penalty for the incident, which put him outside the points in 22nd.

Jonas Folger got the best launch off the line, getting the jump on Lowes to lead the pack into Turn 1, ahead of Zarco, Hafizh Syahrin, Alex Marquez and Franco Morbidelli.

Lowes held the lead in the initial laps, before Marquez crashed, sliding out of contention and shuffling the pack. Folger droped back at the close as Luthui charged to the front, pulling way to win by nearly a second as the battle raged behind him.

Morbidelli was in with the frontrunners for much of the race, passing Nakagami in the final stages to finish second, while Assen winner Nakagami stayed in the mix throughout the race and made some good attempts on Morbidelli for second, losing out at the line by less than a quarter of a second.

Hafizh Syahrin made good on his early promise to fourth from early leader Folger, and Lorenzo Baldassari - ahead of an absolutely stunning result from title contender Alex Rins.

Rins started 19th after breaking his collarbone in a training crash in the week on 24 August, and steadily made his way through the pack, determined to keep his championship hopes alive for his last year in Moto2 before moving to the premier class with Suzuki in 2017.

He made it up to 10th on his own steam, before the last-lap mayhem, promoted him to seventh - a result he could scarcely have imagined in the ambulance 10 days earlier. With neither of his closest rivals Zarco or Lowes scoring, he moved up to within 10 points of the defending champion in the title fight.

Speed Up rider Simone Corsi, on the only non-Kalex chassis in the top 12, stayed out of trouble to come home eighth, ahead of Mattia Pasini and Axel Pons.

RESULTS

MOTO3

After spots of rain punctuated the morning’s MotoGP warm-up session, the Moto3 race was run under grey skies but stayed dry. Francesco Bagnaia (Mahindra) got a good start from his first Grand Prix pole position, with Enea Bastianini (Honda) hot on his tailpipe.

The lead group of nine riders was soon joined by Catalan GP winner and championship contender Jorge Navarro (Honda), who sliced through the field from 18th on the grid to hit the lead after only a handful of laps, bringing with him Mahindra works rider Stefano Manzi, up from 34th on the grid!

The bikes were heading for the apexes of the wide Silverstone corners four and five abreast, with nobody able to break away until chaos struck on the final few laps.

A reckless move by Manzi took Navarro out, with Andrea Migno (KTM) unable to avoid the crashing Honda; Navarro remained down for a few moments as he recovered from the impact.

At the start of the last lap it was a Red Bull Ajo 1-2 with Binder leading rookie team-mate Bo Bendsneyder, ahead of pole-sitter Bagnaia. Binder put in a scorching final lap to move away from Bendsneyder for a superbly well-judged win – but the Dutch rookie got mugged by Bagnaia just a few corners from the flag and had to settle for third.

As the lead three broke away from the chaos behind, Manzi shook off Nicolo Bulega (KTM) to come home an impressive fourth despite the incident with Navarro with Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) sixth ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Honda), Bastianini, Aron Canet (Honda) and Joan Mir (KTM).

Mir however, was one of three riders demoted one place each for exceeding the track limits, promoting Jorge Martin (Mahindra) into the top 10.

RESULTS

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