Efren Vazquez outdragged Romano Fenati on the final run to the finish line at Indianapolis to claim his maiden Grand Prix victory at the 116th attempt. The Spaniard’s superior straight-line performance proved crucial in a race which saw slipstreaming galore, six different leaders, and no fewer than ten riders battling in the leading group all the way to the end.
Polesitter Jack Miller made the early running but with his KTM continuously outgunned by the Hondas of Vazquez, Alex Rins and Alex Marquez, victory was always going to be a tough ask. The odds were also against Fenati but supreme tactics from the Italian saw him time his challenge to perfection and the Sky Racing VR46 rider took control a lap and a half from home. Rins and Marquez ran third and fifth, sandwiching Miller’s KTM, while Alexis Masbou presented another danger to the championship leader in sixth on his Ongetta Honda.
The final lap began with Fenati holding off Vazquez on the run through turn one, a popular overtaking place throughout the Grand Prix, but there was some shuffling just behind as Miller sent a daring move up the inside of both Estrella Galicia machines at turn two, climbing to third. Vazquez didn’t pose such a threat to Fenati on the brakes but as they exited the last corner, Efren was able to play his trump card. Romano was well aware of the challenge he was about to come up against and weaved left and right to break the slipstream but Vazquez’s Saxoprint-RTG Honda was still far too quick, carrying him to a maiden victory by 0.065s.
Miller held onto third to extend his championship lead while his nearest rival Alex Marquez slid wide at the final corner, falling to sixth behind Masbou and Rins. Miguel Oliveira produced another fine comeback ride to finish seventh from eighteenth on the grid while Juanfran Guevara, Brad Binder and Jakub Kornfeil completed a top ten covered by just 2.261s. Danny Kent and John McPhee weren’t a part of the shenanigans out front with Kent two seconds further back in twelfth while McPhee’s race ended within a lap thanks to contact from Jorge Navarro.