Maverick Vinales has claimed Suzuki’s first victory in the MotoGP World Championship since Chris Vermeulen guided the blue machine home at a wet Le Mans in 2007. This is also Vinales maiden MotoGP victory. The Spaniard dominated the race from start to finish pulling out a two second gap instantly and by the end the gap had doubled to 4.6 seconds. In the battle behind for the remaining podium places British hero Cal Crutchlow held off an aggressive Marc Marquez to take another race podium and continue to prove himself as a front runner. Valentino Rossi took advantage of a late mistake by Marquez to take third with the latter finishing fourth.
There was lap 1 drama at the start of the Octo British Grand Prix, when the initial lights out it was Maverick Viñales who stormed ahead to take the race lead but back in the pack a huge crash between Loris Baz and Pol Espargaro resulted in a red flag and the two riders being brought off to the medical center. When the debris was cleared the race was restarted but this time it was Cal Crutchlow who got the better start of the front row men this time leading briefly for some of the lap until Vinales blasted past him and opened up a gap almost immediately.
With Vinales away at the front there was a 6 rider group chasing him which included championship leader Marc Marquez And Valentino Rossi, reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo who got a decent start was struggling all the way down in 8th place and wouldn’t move from there.
As the laps counted down Vinales was constantly extending his gap at the front while the six chasers regularly changed places. Andrea Iannone who has had a relatively strong weekend made his way to the front of the group and was beginning to open a gap up on the pursuers until the Italian lost his Ducati with 6 laps to go and suffered his 5th DNF of the season. This promoted home rider Crutchlow to second much to the delight of the British crowd with Rossi and Marquez left to duel it out for third. The two battled hard with aggressive overtakes being exchanged on every corner but after a couple of laps it seemed the Spaniard had broken away from “The Doctor” and was now closing in on Crutchlow, however a mistake from Marquez for the Honda rider to run on wide and slip behind his teammate in fifth, gifting third place to Rossi.
Vinales who was now 4.8 seconds ahead of the chasers cruised to his maiden victory in MotoGP with British hero Crutchlow coming how in an impressive second with the consistent Valentino Rossi rounding out the podium in third. Marquez recovered from his late mistake to re-overtake his teammate Dani Pedrosa to take fourth with the latter rounding out the top five.
Andrea Dovizioso who is suffering from injury produced a gallant performance to come home in P6 with Aleix Espargaro on the second Team Suzuki Ecstar similarly riding after a recent injury to come home in P7. Jorge Lorenzo crossed the line in a disappointing eight position with Danilo Petrucci and Alvaro Bautista rounding out the top 10.
Yonny Hernandez put in a solid performance in P11 with his unfortunate teammate Eugene Laverty who had got as high as P2 in the first race suffered several mishaps and collisions in the restart but recovered brilliantly to finish P12 and score all important points in his championship. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Replacement rider Alex Lowes came home in a fantastic P13 with Hector Barbera and Tito Rabat rounding out the rest of the points scorers.
The MotoGP grid now heads for Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli next week where Rossi And Marquez will recommence battle with reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo hoping to bounce back.
Image Via: Motorsport.com