Alex Rins put the agony of Brno well and truly behind him by winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The Spaniard was part of a sensational four-way scrap for victory and ultimately beat his Estrella Galicia teammate Alex Marquez by eleven thousandths of a second for his first win of 2014.
The Spanish duo were locked in wheel-to-wheel combat with Gresini’s Enea Bastianini and Mahindra’s Miguel Oliveira and it was the Italian rookie who had nosed his way to the front four laps out. Marquez was proving a particular thorn in his side but after a late braking move into Brooklands, Bastianini was still the man to catch entering the final 5.9km.
The scrap with Marquez continued but with such a long run down the Wellington Straight towards Brooklands, Alex Rins proved to have played the tactical masterstroke and the two-bike slipstream worked to excellent effect. The no.42 dived for the apex and made it just in time to squeeze Marquez out of room, preventing a reply into Luffield.
Marquez’s last shot was to follow his teammate through Woodcote and sneak ahead before the finish line. The plan came within a whisker of paying off but Rins had carried just enough momentum through the final bend and the chequered flag came in the nick of time, handing him victory by 0.011s.
Bastianini was just 0.072s off the victory himself but that was only good enough for third in the end, although it did secure back-to-back podium finishes for the Italian. His afternoon then came to a bizarre conclusion when a daydreaming Karel Hanika rode into him at slow speed on the cool-down lap, sending both tumbling to the floor.
Oliveira drew the short straw in the leading battle and missed out on the rostrum altogether, finishing 0.123s behind Rins in fourth. Jakub Kornfeil set the fastest lap on his way to fifth while Jack Miller saw his championship lead over Marquez slashed to thirteen points after trailing home sixth, although the result threatened to be much worse a couple of laps from the finish.
After starting on the front row, Niccolo Antonelli was a slightly disappointing seventh ahead of Brno victor Alexis Masbou while Danny Kent took the honours in the battle to be leading Briton, taking ninth, two places ahead of SaxoPrint-RTG’s John McPhee. Wildcard debutant Joe Irving saw his first Grand Prix outing end unfortunately early following a crash on lap one.