Alex Rins brought himself firmly into championship contention with victory in the Indianapolis Grand Prix, snatching it from teammate Alex Marquez on the final lap. After injuring himself in qualifying, Luis Salom bravely rode to fifth but with Maverick Vinales taking third place, the points leader has lost a sizeable chunk of his advantage.
Rins made life difficult for himself on the opening lap by skating wide onto the grass at turn two, falling to seventh, but after spells in the lead for Arthur Sissis, Marquez and Vinales, the polesitter was back in control by lap six. A leading group of three was quickly established once Rins had recovered from his dodgy start as Marquez and Vinales went with their compatriot.
Each took their turn in the lead but with the slipstream so valuable down the long pit straight, only Rins seemed to have the confidence to stay there. Marquez put a stop to that at the start of the penultimate lap by diving past his teammate into turn one but Rins wouldn’t be denied, providing a graphic illustration of the value of a tow by easing past next time they arrived on the pit straight.
Despite keeping pace with the Estrella Galicia teammates with apparent ease, Vinales couldn’t mount a challenge on his KTM counterparts and had to settle for third but with Jonas Folger beating Salom to fourth, the 18 year old has gained five points in the title chase. Arthur Sissis’ bright start eventually petered out but the Australian still came home a fine sixth, sandwiched between his two teammates with Zulfahmi Khairuddin in seventh.
Miguel Oliveira took eighth place on a disappointing day for Mahindra which saw Efren Vazquez pull out with smoke pouring from his machine but Romano Fenati enjoyed one his better days in 2013, finishing ninth ahead of Jakub Kornfeil.