The French GP of the Moto3 class surely provided for some unexpected turn of events: the bad weather conditions and the consequent lack of grip allowed young Frenchman Louis Rossi to seal away and clinch his first victory ever in GP racing, with runner-up Alberto Moncayo crossing the finish line a good 27 seconds after the winner and right in front of Alex Rins, who completed the French podium. Championship contenders Maverick Vinales and Romano Fenati both crashed out and scored zero points, allowing Germany’s Sandro Cortese (6th) to take the lead. Here is a nice collection of images of the Moto3 weekend in Le Mans taken on and off the track: check it out.
View the full Moto3 2012 - Le Mans photo gallery
Today’s Moto3 race at Le Mans was a war of attrition in atrociously wet and cold conditions and it was Le Mans home boy Louis Rossi who brought home his Racing Team Germany branded FTR Honda to win in front of all the French fans and take his first every victory in grand prix racing.
Of the 30 riders who managed to start on the grid only fifteen managed to keep their machines upright (including crashes and re-joins) and cross the finish line in a highly tense and dramatic race that saw all the lead riders who inherited the top spot after race leader Hector Faubel crashed out after dominating the first twelve laps of the race.
In quick succession all the riders who took the lead, Miguel Oliveira to Maverick Vinales all crashed, with other podium contenders also dropping their bikes leaving Rossi the top spot. The French rider took the victory with a 27 second margin on second placed Alberto Moncayo and Alex Rins who also scored their first GP podiums.
Niccolò Antonelli took an excellent fourth for team Gresini after saving his FTR Honda in the final corners and finishing ahead of Arthur Sissis and Sandro Cortese who finished in 6th after suffering a crash and was able to rejoin and extended his lead in the standings.
Maverick Vinales took his maiden pole position in Moto3’s qualifying session at Le Mans. Unfortunately for the Moto3 riders the rain Gods decided they had been too lenient and decided to piss on the French track and then just tinkle here and there enough to ruin the qualifying session and which became a crash fest.
However Vinales managed to keep his Blusens Avintia FTR Honda upright and post the fastest lap in 1:55.865 on the track that saw him take his debut win last season leaving his fellow countryman Efren Vazquez who jumped to second in the dying minutes in second and a massive 0.982s adrift. Miguel Oliveira who was the fastest rider in this morning’s FP3 took the final spot on the front row and he had a 1.249s gap.
Rain specialists Jakub Kornfeil was fourth followed by Alexis Masbou, while the current Moto3 leader Sandro Cortese was sixth after suffering a crash with his KTM early in the session. Three Kalex KTMs will make up the third row with Alberto Moncayo, Hector Faubel and Luis Salom, while Zulfahmi Khairuddin closed out the top ten.
Romano Fenati was only 21st and it will be an uphill race for the Italy’s newest racing star.