Silverstone MotoGP: Vinales takes first Suzuki victory since 2007

Silverstone MotoGP: Vinales takes first Suzuki victory since 2007
Sep 4, 2016, 3:38 PM

Maverick Vinales claimed Suzuki's first MotoGP race win in nearly a decade at Silverstone, expertly controlling a restarted race after a huge crash on the opening lap brought out the red flags.

The race was brought to an abrupt halt on the opening lap of the original start, as Pol Espargaro and Loris Baz were both launched from their bikes in terrifying fashion at Maggotts.

Contact between Espargaro and Danilo Petrucci triggered the accident, from which Espargaro emerged more or less unscathed - albeit after being taken from the track by stretcher.

Baz, meanwhile, received immediate attention from the medics trackside, before being reported conscious and taken by ambulance to the medical centre for further evaluation.

The restarted race was reduced in distance by a lap to 19, with Vinales moving from his grid slot of third to take an immediate lead with passes on Valentino Rossi at Stowe and poleman Cal Crutchlow at Abbey.

From there, Vinales gradually extended his advantage as his rivals became embroiled in a frenetic scrap for position behind that allowed the Suzuki rider to escape his pursuers and win by a margin of 3.480 seconds.

It marks Vinales' first victory in the premier class and Suzuki's first since Chris Vermuelen's wet Le Mans triumph in 2007. In the dry, it was the Japanese marque's first win since Sete Gibernau at Valencia in 2001.

Crutchlow and Rossi complete podium after epic battles

Behind, Marc Marquez moved into the head of a train of riders, with Crutchlow, Rossi, Andrea Iannone and Dani Pedrosa all following in hot pursuit.

Some laps later, Rossi carved his way through to second, keeping hold of the runner-up spot at the half-distance mark, but was powerless to fend of a charging Iannone on the 12th lap.

The Ducati rider's run ended however with a crash at Luffield, promoting Crutchlow - who had just dispatched Rossi - into second place, where the LCR Honda man would stay until the closing laps.

Marquez and Rossi, meanwhile, were engaged in an exhilarating dice for third, which had shades of their 2015 Sepang clash as both were on the edge for a number of laps.

The battle was defused briefly when Marquez cut the track at Becketts on the 15th lap, after which he passed Rossi at The Loop and quickly caught up to the back of Crutchlow.

However, the championship leader was visibly struggling with rear tyre wear, and ended up running wide at Stowe on the penultimate lap as he tried to stave off another assault by Crutchlow.

That dropped him back to fifth, giving Crutchlow and Rossi untroubled runs to the chequered flag for second and third, although Marquez picked off teammate Dani Pedrosa on the last lap to reclaim fourth.

Behind, Andrea Dovizioso was sixth, ahead of Aleix Espargaro and an off-colour Jorge Lorenzo. Petrucci and Alvaro Bautista completed the top 10.

The sole surviving Tech 3 Yamaha of Alex Lowes finished his first MotoGP race 13th, behind the Aspar pair of Yonny Hernandez and Eugene Laverty.

Besides Iannone, the only other crashers after the restart were Stefan Bradl, who went down early on at Maggotts, and Scott Redding, who crashed out twice but continued to finish 17th.

Race results

1  Maverick Viñales   Suzuki 39'03.559
2  Cal Crutchlow   Honda 3.480
3  Valentino Rossi   Yamaha 4.063
4  Marc Márquez   Honda 5.992
5  Dani Pedrosa   Honda 6.381
6  Andrea Dovizioso   Ducati 12.303
7  Aleix Espargaró   Suzuki 16.672
8  Jorge Lorenzo   Yamaha 19.432
9  Danilo Petrucci   Ducati 25.618
10  Álvaro Bautista   Aprilia 32.084
11  Yonny Hernández   Ducati 36.131
12  Eugene Laverty   Ducati 39.130
13  Alex Lowes   Yamaha 40.143
14  Héctor Barberá   Ducati 41.356
15  Tito Rabat   Honda 41.943
16  Jack Miller   Honda 47.610
17  Scott Redding   Ducati 1'56.177
   Andrea Iannone   Ducati 6 laps
   Stefan Bradl   Aprilia 17 laps
   Loris Baz   Ducati  
   Pol Espargaró   Yamaha  
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