2012 Sepang Moto3 Race Result: Tense Battle Sees Victory Settled At Line

Results and summary of a tense and thrilling Moto3 race at Sepang:

Sandro Cortese has sealed the inaugural Moto3 championship inthe best possible way by winning a close battle with his teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Aspar's Jonas Folger. A 3rd place would have been good enough, but Cortese saw an opportunity on the final lap and seized it.

Cortese had ridden a calm, controlled race up to that point, getting away with the leading group headed by Jonas Folger, the group whittled down to four men after the first couple of laps. Folger was comfortably in charge of the race, while Khairuddin sat behind him, and Cortese sat with Luis Salom at the back of the group. Salom was the only man who could deny Cortese the title, and Cortese knew he only had to finish immediately behind him to be champion, wary of Salom's moves.

Salom would not accept defeat easily, and was pushing hard to challenge Khairuddin in 2nd for a go at leader Folger. But he had had to push his way forward from  10th on the grid and then catch the leading group, and had asked a lot of his tires. Salom was having trouble contending with Cortese, and shortly after the halfway mark, a couple of big moments with the front wheel saw Salom lose valuable time, and then lose touch with the leaders, dropping back into the clutches of Alex Rins and Miguel Oliveira a second or so behind. The direct threat to the championship was gone, and Cortese had only to finish and the title was his.

The loss of Salom meant that the race was now solely about victory. Zulfahmi Khairuddin had started to press Jonas Folger, and as the first few drops of what would turn into a deluge after the race started to spot the track, Khairuddin decided it was time to act. The Malaysian rider took the lead into the final corner on lap 11, crossing the line to the wild cheers of the local crowds. Folger put up a stern fight for the next few laps, but had to eventually give in to the Malaysian, as he came under pressure from Cortese, having to give up 2nd to the German on lap 14.

With Khairuddin leading, the race looked on course to see the first ever Malaysian winner of a Grand Prix race in history, but Cortese was in slightly better shape than his Ajo teammate. Cortese bided his time, attacking on the last lap and pressuring Khairuddin towards the final section of the track. Khairuddin tried to make a stand, but ran just a little bit wide into Turn 14, and Cortese was through to the lead. Khairuddin drafted back into the lead down the back straight, but Cortese held the inside line for the final corner, and snatched victory from Khairuddin as they crossed the line. Khairuddin tried, but could do nothing, and was forced to settle for 2nd, with Folger taking the final spot on the podium.

Sandro Cortese now heads to Australia as Moto3 world champion, and can race a little more freely for the last two races of the season. He took the championship exactly as he had hoped he could, and as championships deserve to be secured: with a race win.

Results:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 11 Sandro CORTESE KTM 40'54.123  
2 63 Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN KTM 40'54.151 0.028
3 94 Jonas FOLGER KALEX KTM 40'54.370 0.247
4 39 Luis SALOM KALEX KTM 41'02.626 8.503
5 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA SUTER HONDA 41'02.797 8.674
6 52 Danny KENT KTM 41'03.458 9.335
7 42 Alex RINS SUTER HONDA 41'13.096 18.973
8 7 Efren VAZQUEZ FTR HONDA 41'19.542 25.419
9 31 Niklas KTM 41'24.837 30.714
10 26 Adrian MARTIN FTR HONDA 41'24.886 30.763
11 61 Arthur SISSIS KTM 41'25.009 30.886
12 41 Brad BINDER KALEX KTM 41'25.142 31.019
13 8 Jack MILLER HONDA 41'25.348 31.225
14 12 Alex MARQUEZ SUTER HONDA 41'25.436 31.313
15 27 Niccolò ANTONELLI FTR HONDA 41'25.772 31.649
16 84 Jakub KORNFEIL FTR HONDA 41'25.838 31.715
17 19 Alessandro TONUCCI FTR HONDA 41'25.913 31.790
18 23 Alberto MONCAYO FTR HONDA 41'26.270 32.147
19 32 Isaac VIÑALES FTR HONDA 41'33.487 39.364
20 5 Romano FENATI FTR HONDA 41'39.947 45.824
21 89 Alan TECHER TSR HONDA 41'40.745 46.622
22 17 John McPHEE HONDA 41'40.795 46.672
23 9 Toni FINSTERBUSCH HONDA 41'40.913 46.790
24 29 Luca AMATO KALEX KTM 42'03.209 1'09.086
25 28 Josep RODRIGUEZ FGR HONDA 42'09.857 1'15.734
26 30 Giulian PEDONE SUTER HONDA 42'27.840 1'33.717
27 51 Kenta FUJII TSR HONDA 42'27.934 1'33.811
28 80 Armando PONTONE IODA 42'48.237 1'54.114
Not Classified
  99 Danny WEBB MAHINDRA 19'36.752 10 laps
  96 Louis ROSSI FTR HONDA 11'24.542 13 laps
  20 Riccardo MORETTI MAHINDRA 2'30.073 17 laps

 

Round Number: 
16
2012
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