Johann Zarco's wait for a first Grand Prix victory will go on a little longer after he lost an intriguing battle with Nicolas Terol in the San Marino Grand Prix. As expected, the race turned into a head-to-head shootout between the championship rivals and it eventually went down to the final few metres.

Zarco signalled his intent right from the start as he chopped across the front of Hector Faubel. The two came into contact before and after turn one to the anger of Team Manager Jorge Martinez as the pair fell to fifth and sixth.

Terol avoided the mayhem to take the lead with Sandro Cortese and Efren Vazquez following him. Danny Kent also made a great start and briefly held second but the British teenager was shuffled back to fifth by the recovering Zarco.

Keen to avoid a repeat of Indianapolis, Zarco charged through the pack on lap two, passing Vazquez and Cortese, to haul himself onto the tail of Terol. The two AirAsia Derbis took up the chase at the front while Cortese slipped into the clutches of the group behind him involving Kent and Faubel. The two Blusens Aprilias of Sergio Gadea and Maverick Vinales were also joining in the fun after breaking out of the midfield pack.

By the end of lap five, the leading trio were covered by less than a second and Zarco was starting to look menacing. The pace was becoming more and more intense with every lap that passed and Vazquez fell victim to it halfway through, falling away from the top two at half a second per lap.

With six laps to go, mind games started to come into play as Zarco swooped past Terol at turn 12, only to run wide two corners later and allow the Spaniard back through. He made the move stick into turn four on the following lap but still seemed more concerned with the Aspar Aprilia than his own bike.

Next time around, Zarco turned his head as the frontrunners moved onto the back straight, apparently to try and intimidate his rival but Terol punished him for his overconfidence at the start at the penultimate lap, diving through into turn one.

It all came to a head on the final lap as Zarco regained the advantage under braking for turn four. Terol tried to force his way back through three corners from home but the Frenchman hung on around the outside. It all came down to the last corner and Zarco appeared to run slightly wide, giving Terol the slipstream into the home straight.

Zarco looked back again but could only look on in horror as the Aprilia breezed past to beat him by 0.022s. Vazquez came across the line in a lonely third while Cortese pipped Faubel to fourth.

For the second time this year, Zarco was involved in a photo finish

Despite falling to eighth at one point, Danny Kent battled bravely to finish sixth, beating Vinales and Gadea by less than half a second. Jonas Folger brought the second Red Bull Ajo Aprilia home in ninth while Miguel Oliveira rounded out the top ten.

Danny Webb and Taylor Mackenzie enjoyed an equally close battle to the one at the front with the Mahindra rider taking 21st by 0.051s. Harry Stafford started next to Webb on the grid but crashed out at the first corner.

 

Race Result (23 Laps):

Pos Rider Nat Bike Team Time/Gap
1 Nicolas Terol SPA Aprilia Bankia Aspar Team 125cc 40:02.164
2 Johann Zarco FRA Derbi Avant-AirAsia-Ajo +0.022
3 Efren Vazquez SPA Derbi Avant-AirAsia-Ajo +4.932
4 Sandro Cortese GER Aprilia Intact-Racing Team Germany +9.322
5 Hector Faubel SPA Aprilia Bankia Aspar Team 125cc +9.964
6 Danny Kent GBR Aprilia Red Bull Ajo MotorSport +12.100
7 Maverick Vinales SPA Aprilia Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing +12.324
8 Sergio Gadea SPA Aprilia Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing +12.556
9 Jonas Folger GER Aprilia Red Bull Ajo MotorSport +21.489
10 Miguel Oliveira POR Aprilia Andalucía Banca Civica +30.678
11 Alberto Moncayo SPA Aprilia Andalucía Banca Civica +31.321
12 Jakub Kornfeil CZE Aprilia Ongetta-Centro-Seta +31.552
13 Miroslav Popov (WC) CZE Aprilia Ellegi Racing +32.637
14 Luigi Morciano ITA Aprilia Team Italia FMI +52.542
15 Marcel Schrotter GER Mahindra Mahindra Racing +53.850
16 Kevin Calia (WC) ITA Aprilia MGP Racing +53.917
17 Alessandro Tonucci ITA Aprilia Team Italia FMI +58.742
18 Manuel Tatasciore (WC) ITA Aprilia Phonica Racing +1:03.723
19 Alessandro Giorgi (WC) ITA Aprilia VFT Racing +1:04.113
20 Alexis Masbou FRA KTM Caretta Technology +1:04.956
21 Danny Webb GBR Mahindra Mahindra Racing +1:08.795
22 Taylor Mackenzie GBR Aprilia Phonica Racing +1:08.846
23 Giulian Pedone SWI Aprilia Phonica Racing +1:17.719
24 Jack Miller AUS KTM Caretta Technology +1:18.752
25 Joan Perello SPA Aprilia Matteoni Racing +1:36.950
26 Adrian Martin SPA Aprilia Bankia Aspar Team 125cc +2 Laps
27 Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Derbi AirAsia-Sic-Ajo +3 Laps
Not Classified
Sturla Fagerhaug NOR Aprilia WTR-Ten10 Racing +6 Laps
Jasper Iwema NED Aprilia Ongetta-Abbink-Metaal +13 Laps
Massimo Parziani (WC) ITA Aprilia Faenza Racing +13 Laps
Luis Salom SPA Aprilia RW Racing GP +16 Laps
Francesco Mauriello ITA Aprilia WTR-Ten10 Racing +20 Laps
Harry Stafford GBR Aprilia Ongetta-Centro-Seta +23 Laps
Louis Rossi FRA Aprilia Matteoni Racing +23 Laps
Simone Grotzkyj ITA Aprilia Phonica Racing Non Starter
Niklas Ajo FIN Aprilia TT Motion Events Racing Non Starter

 

Lap Leaders: Terol (1-18, 21-23), Zarco (19-20)


Riders Championship (After Round 12: San Marino)

Pos Rider Nat Bike Team Wins Pts
1 Nicolas Terol SPA Aprilia Bankia Aspar Team 7 216
2 Johann Zarco FRA Derbi Avant-AirAsia-Ajo 185
3 Maverick Vinales SPA Aprilia Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing 2 161
4 Sandro Cortese GER Aprilia Intact-Racing Team Germany 1 160
5 Jonas Folger GER Aprilia Red Bull Ajo MotorSport 1 124
6 Hector Faubel SPA Aprilia Bankia Aspar Team 1 123
7 Efren Vazquez SPA Derbi Avant-AirAsia-Ajo 116
8 Sergio Gadea SPA Aprilia Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing 103
9 Luis Salom SPA Aprilia RW Racing GP 76
10 Danny Kent GBR Aprilia Red Bull Ajo MotorSport 59
11 Jakub Kornfeil CZE Aprilia Ongetta-Centro-Seta 53
12 Alberto Moncayo SPA Aprilia Andalucía Banca Civica 49
13 Miguel Oliveira POR Aprilia Andalucía Banca Civica 44
14 Simone Grotzkyj ITA Aprilia Phonica Racing 32
15 Adrian Martin SPA Aprilia Bankia Aspar Team 30
16 Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Derbi AirAsia-Sic-Ajo 20
17 Marcel Schrotter GER Mahindra Mahindra Racing 18
18 Louis Rossi FRA Aprilia Matteoni Racing 18
18 Taylor Mackenzie GBR Aprilia Phonica Racing 15
19 Danny Webb GBR Mahindra Mahindra Racing 14
21 Jasper Iwema NED Aprilia Ongetta-Abbink-Metaal 13
22 Alexis Masbou FRA KTM Caretta Technology 12
23 Niklas Ajo FIN Aprilia TT Motion Events Racing 11
24 Hiroki Ono JAP KTM Caretta Technology 8
25 Luigi Morciano ITA Aprilia Team Italia FMI 6
26 Toni Finsterbusch GER KTM Freudenberg Racing Team 4
27 Harry Stafford GBR Aprilia Ongetta-Centro-Seta 3
28 Miroslav Popov CZE Aprilia Ellegi Racing 3
28 John McPhee GBR Aprilia Racing Steps Foundation KRP 1
29 Josep Rodriguez SPA Aprilia Wild-Wolf-Racc-MS 1