Last Gasp Rins Beats Vinales At Aragon

Alex Rins beat Maverick Vinales in a final lap showdown for the second race running as both closed in on championship leader Luis Salom at Aragon. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finished behind Alex Marquez in fourth, meaning the three title contenders will be covered by just twelve points heading into the three flyaway races in Malaysia, Australia and Japan.

From the moment the red lights went out, Rins and Vinales began their race long fight for supremacy although they were chased hard by Marquez early on. German rookie Philipp Oettl also latched onto the leaders in the early stages but the Interwetten rider faded as the laps ticked by, falling into the clutches of Salom and Miguel Oliveira.

After swapping places regularly in the first half of the Grand Prix, the top two settled into a rhythm with Vinales leading Rins following an outbraking move at turn one but neither were able to pull out a gap over the other, ensuring the fight would be settled in the final 3.1 miles. After playing a patient waiting game behind Vinales, Rins turned the screw and stormed up the inside of Vinales at turn one and although he ran slightly wide, the Estrella Galicia rider was able to hold off his compatriot as he came back around the outside of turn two.

There was still plenty to play for for Vinales with the long back straight to come but as he picked his bike up for the 1km drag race, the Team Calvo KTM appeared to miss a gear and the slipstream was lost, as was any hope of victory. Despite being a part of the leading group at half distance, Marquez feel twelve seconds back to finish a distant third but he had enough time in hand to hold off Salom, doing his victorious teammate a favour in the process.

Salom was more preoccupied with the Mahindra of Oliveira to do anything about Marquez but in the end, Luis would hang to fourth by 0.080s with the impressive Oettl sixth after running wide at the final corner three laps from home. Jonas Folger rode through excruciating pain to take seventh while Romano Fenati beat Arthur Sissis and Efren Vazquez to eighth in a photo finish.