Maverick Vinales capitalised on a final corner mistake from Luis Salom to win a thrilling four-way dice for victory at Assen. The two Spaniards fought it out with the Red Bull KTMs of Sandro Cortese and Danny Kent with the British rider claiming his first ever podium by the narrowest of margins.

He looked up for the fight as soon as the red light went out with the 18 year old grabbing the lead from Cortese with well over a dozen riders joining the leading group. Cortese regained superiority in the KTM ranks by taking Kent on the inside of Ramshoek on the second lap but Maverick Vinales, having started on the second row, was now up to speed and was looking threatening just behind

Kent dived back past his teammate into turn one on lap eight but neither would lead over the line as Vinales sneaked past the pair of them, responding to his team's pit board instruction to 'GO'. Despite his best efforts, the championship leader couldn't break the tow behind, allowing the KTMs to keep in touch and as the race entered its closing stages, a leading group of five had taken shape with Vinales leading Cortese, Kent, Salom and Louis Rossi.

Cortese's speed through the Ramshoek was causing chaos as the German tried unsuccessfully to pass Vinales, despite running side-by-side through the left hander. Kent took advantage to pass them both into turn one moments later but the next time they arrived at the Ramshoek, Vinales fought back. Cortese's attempt to follow the FTR-Honda almost ended in disaster as the German ran into the side of his teammate, causing him to react furiously to regain control.

On the penultimate lap, Cortese lined Vinales up on the straight exiting De Strubben but Kent used the double-slipstream to drag pass both title contenders. With almost half the final lap completed, the Briton was still in front but Cortese dived past at turn six, with Kent's loss of momentum allowing Vinales and Salom through in the corners that followed.

Cortese and Vinales looked set to scrap it out through the final few corners but Salom pulled off a sensational move on the inside to grab the lead for the first time. Agonisingly for the home based RW Racing GP team, Salom would outbrake himself into the final chicane, allowing Vinales to sneak past for a fortunate victory. Cortese and Kent swooped either side of the Kalex with the three of them covered by just 0.012s. The timing screen initially showed Salom ahead of Kent but a video review gave Kent the verdict by one thousandth of a second, leaving a disconsolate Salom to leave parc ferme and return to his garage.

The photo finish shows the 0.001s gap between Kent and Salom – Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

 

Rossi was unable to get involved in the last lap shenanigans and finished fifth while Alex Rins finished all alone in sixth. Niklas Ajo had run with the leaders in the opening laps but faded to seventh with five riders finishing within a second of his KTM. Alexis Masbou was the first of them in eighth ahead of Efren Vazquez who rode superbly to go from 24th on the grid to ninth. Miguel Oliveira would complete the top ten after pipping Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Romano Fenati on the line but Danny Webb's wait for points continues after crashing out on his Mahindra.