Vinales scores breakthrough Silverstone victory
Maverick Vinales produced a dominant ride to record his maiden MotoGP victory and claim Suzuki’s first premier class triumph for nine years at the British Grand Prix.
Vinales leapt into the lead early in the race before going on to open up a healthy lead over the chasing pack.
The 21-year-old proved untouchable as he extended his advantage before taking the chequered flag by 3.4s to record Suzuki’s first win since Australian Chris Vermeulen won the 2007 French Grand Prix.
Vinales’ maiden win saw him become the fourth new winner in the last five races as he shared the Silverstone podium with Britain’s Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.
The race was shortened by a lap when the original start was red flagged following a nasty crash involving Loris Baz (Avintia Ducati) and Pol Espargaro (Tech3 Yamaha) at Maggots corner.
Both riders were conscious and taken to the circuit’s medical centre for checks.
Vinales, who led at the first start, quickly asserted his authority on the restart, taking the lead at Abbey, which he held throughout the 19 laps.
The battle for second provided plenty of entertainment as Crutchlow emerged from a race-long dice involving Marc Marquez (Honda), Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Andrea Iannone (Ducati).
Rossi held second for much of the race only to lose the spot to Ducati’s Iannone with seven laps remaining, following a surge through the field from eighth on the grid.
However, the Italian’s podium bid unravelled when he dropped his bike at Luffield corner a lap after taking the spot from Rossi.
A charging Crutchlow, who overtook Rossi on the previous tour, inherited the position although he soon came under attack from Marquez.
The pair fought hard over the spot until Marquez made an error and ran wide at Stowe corner, which saw him drop to fifth.
In the end, Crutchlow prevailed to take second from Rossi, while Marquez recovered to fourth after a late move on Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso managed come home in sixth ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), who lost further ground in the title race.
Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and Aprilia’s Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top 10.
Australia’s Jack Miller ran inside the top 10 in the early stages before sliding to 16th position on his return to the category.
Marquez holds a 50 point lead over Rossi in the championship ahead of this weekend’s visit to Misano.
In Moto2, rising Aussie star Remy Gardner finished in 20th position as Tom Luthi took the overall honours.
Result: MotoGP British Grand Prix
|1||Maverick Vinales||Suzuki||19 laps|
|2||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||+3.48s|
|9||Danilo Petrucci||Pramac Ducati||+25.61|
|11||Yonny Hernandez||Aspar Ducati||+36.13|
|12||Eugene Laverty||Aspar Ducati||+39.13|
|13||Alex Lowes||Tech3 Yamaha||+40.14|
|14||Hector Barbera||Avintia Ducati||+41.35|
|15||Tito Rabat||Marc VDS Honda||+41.94|
|16||Jack Miller||Marc VDS Honda||+47.61|
|17||Scott Redding||Pramac Ducati||+1:56.17|
|DNF||Loris Baz||Avintia Ducati|
|DNF||Pol Espargaro||Tech3 Yamaha|