The 2012 Moto3 race at Indianapolis started with Sandro Cortese on pole, riding his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine, and his teammate Danny Kent was right next to him. Both riders got off to a flying start and after one lap, Danny Kent was in front with a time of 1'56.696.
Right behind him was Luis Salom on his RW Racing GP Kalex KTM. Zulfahmi Khairuddin was holding on to third place with his AirAsia-Sic-Ajo, KTM.
On the second lap the front-runners drafted down the home straight side-by-side. At the first turn Khairuddin held his line, allowing him to move to the front of the pack, putting Salom back to second place and Kent back to third. Over the course of the third lap, Alex Rins on the Estrella Galicia 0.0 moved up into second place, just 0.412 behind Khairuddin when they crossed the line of lap 4. Rins then took the top spot from Khairuddin. At this point there were still nine riders fighting each other with no clear leader.
Danny Kent then dropped all the way back to tenth place and Khairuddin took back the top spot from Rins. On lap seven, less than a second separated the six front riders. On lap nine, there were still nine Moto3 riders up front and there was still less than a second separating them all. Khairuddin was holding on to a little bit of lead but Vinales was merely 0.247 behind him with a board that said "go" Maverick.
During lap 10, Vinales pulled away from the rest of the pack, clocking a time of 1'49.492 and a speed of 222.7 kmh. Rins fell back to sixth place with Cortese in third, Salom in fourth, and Efren Vazquez on his JHK Laglisse FTR Honda in fifth. In turn six, Vazquez powered into the corner and lost the front end, tumbling up in the grass.
During lap 13, Vinales' lead was cut down when he was caught by Cortese. Coming into the fourth turn, Cortese made his move. The front three Moto3 riders then started pulling way — Cortese, Vinales, and Salom were fighting it out for the top spot. Their nearest competition was Miguel Oliveira on his Estrella Galicia 0.0 Suter Honda, a full 4.147 seconds back from the new leader Cortese.
As they roared down the start finish straight for lap 17, Vinales proved that his FTR Honda still had a few more horses than the KTM. Using the draft Vinales moved past Cortese and held his line through turn 1, putting him back in the lead once more. Then, in exactly the same spot on the very next lap, Cortese tried to make his own pass on Vinales but he couldn't hold the power open long enough. So Cortese was able to keep the front spot.
Final Moto3 Laps
With jut five laps to go the three front runners were riding on their own. Running 2.123 seconds behind them, Romano Fenati was in fourth place on his Team Italia FMI, FTR Honda. Oliveira was in fifth and Folger was in sixth. At two laps Vinales moved to the front with Cortese right on his tale, waiting for the draft on the final lap.
Coming down the home straight Cortese drafted and held the line through turn 1 on Vinales. Taking turn 1 side-by-side into the final lap of the Indianapolis Grand Prix Moto3 Series, Cortese worked hard to keep the front but made a mistake going into turn 7. This allowed Salom through while at the same time nearly taking Cortese out.
The pressure was really on Vinales at this point, riding right behind Cortese. Despite his best efforts, though Vinales lost his front end and slid off into the grass handing the Moto3 win to Salom. Cortese came in second and Folger came in third.
After the Moto3 Race
In the press conference after the Moto3 race, Luis Salom talked about his very first win and how "many young riders were doing some crazy things, but in the middle of the race I had to push, I saw a small door on the last lap and had to fight for the victory"
Sandro Cortese said he felt "sorry for Maverick Vinales for crashing, you don't want to win like this but it happens, I am happy with my second place"
Jonas Folger told reporters that "it has been a difficult year for me; I want to show everyone on this first weekend with the new bike that we can be on the podium. Qualifying was not perfect but we are here."
This race wraps up the Moto3 series here in the U.S. The Moto3 riders will now move onto Bruno in the Czech Republic to race again in seven days time.