Alex Rins continued his charge into Moto3 championship contention with a second consecutive victory at Misano on Sunday. The Spaniard coped best with the pressure in a late head-to-head with Estrella Galicia teammate Alex Marquez, snatching victory on the very last lap.
Keen to regain some momentum after a difficult couple of races since the summer break, Jack Miller got off to a lightning start from pole position but the Estrella Galicia Hondas didn’t let him get too far up the road. By the start of lap three, Rins was hot on his heels and dived through at turn one while Marquez needed half a lap before following through. Miller’s morning threatened to get worse when he lost control at turn three, running onto the tarmac run-off, and although he managed to save a possible crash, the slipstream to the leading group was lost.
Rins and Marquez were joined at the front by Mahindra’s Miguel Oliveira but the Portuguese rider found the going a little too tough and slid out at turn six on lap twelve, leaving the Spanish teenagers to fight it out on their own. The pair ran nose-to-tail for lap after lap with Marquez seemingly content to bide his time in second spot but with a lap and a half to go, he put his plan into action, cutting underneath Rins at turn twelve.
One lap remained and as it turned out, Marquez had made something of a tactical error and given Rins the chance to follow him down the back straight for the final time. Rins wasn’t going to waste such an advantage and scythed past at turn eleven before protecting his line superbly through the final sequence of left-handers, taking victory by 0.042s. Miller recovered to third in the end, although his championship lead over Marquez has now shrunk to nine points.
Isaac Vinales narrowly came out on top in a three-way fight for fourth, seeing off Enea Bastianini and Brad Binder, while Alexis Masbou put in a fine performance to finish seventh from 24th on the grid. Italian rookie Andrea Migno was another rider to impress, charging through from 22nd to eighth ahead of Juanfran Guevara, Efren Vazquez and Romano Fenati, giving Mahindra some cause for celebration despite Oliveira’s untimely exit.