Moto2 kicked off race day at a bustling Silverstone in a change to the usual timetable and brought some great racing with a tight battle at the front.
As the laps counted down and rivals faded it became a battle for the podium places between Championship leader Tito Rabat, Mika Kallio and rookie Maverick Vinales.
Rabat held his nerve and battled ahead for the win, just 0.063s ahead of early leader and fellow Marc VDS rider Kallio, despite a spirited performance Vinales was forced to settle for third.
The Paginas Amarillas rider was easily ahead of pole man Johann Zarco who took fourth for Caterham AirAsia. The Frenchman was in turn clear of Interwetten’s Tom Luthi as the once close pack began to splinter. The Swiss rider finished fifth.
Sixth across the stripe was Italtrans rider Franco Morbidelli, beating top British rider Sam Lowes into seventh by a slim margin.
Eighth went to Petronas Raceline Malaysia hopeful Hafizh Syahrin, Ninth NGM Forward Racing’s Mattia Pasini with Axel Pons continuing his good run of form over the weekend to claim tenth for AGR.
The remaining points went to the tight battle between the pack of riders in pursuit, Jordi Torres in 11thfor Aspar, Italtrans’ Julian Simon 12th, Octo IodaRacing’s Randy Krummenacher 13th, Tech 3’s Marcel Schrotter 14thwith Taka Nakagami picking up the final point.
Gino Rea finished a solid 20th.
An early crash took out Dominique Aegerter after clipping Vinales wheel. Jonas Folger later slid out of the action collecting Simone Corsi in the process. Birthday boy Xavier Simeon also fell.
Dakota Mamola had a technical issue preventing him from making the most of his substitute ride.
Jeremy McWilliams persevered in his development role aboard the Brough Superior, riding with a broken nose and being lapped towards the end of the race.
The stands were still full for the final race of the day, and Moto3 did not disappoint.
The race was wide open until the final corner when Estrella Galicia rider Alex Rins snatched victory, easing away memories of his now infamous early celebration at the previous round in Brno.
To take the win he held off his team-mate Alex Marquez, who was just a tiny 0.011 adrift in the fight to the line.
Also in the mix for the win was rookie Enea Bastianini, who looked eager to secure his first win before losing out to the Honda pair, a final third on the Go & Fun KTM machine, just 0,061 behind Marquez.
Just off the podium after running at the front was Mahindra rider Miguel Oliveira in fourth before a gap to the epic battle for fifth, a hangover from the opening laps before the front four made a break.
That fifth was won by Jakub Kornfeil, powering his Team Calvo bike just ahead of Red Bull KTM rider Jack Miller, compounding a tough weekend for the Australian championship leader.
The riders continued to stream across the line with Nico Antonelli next to cross the stripe on the second Go& Fun bike in seventh, followed by Alexis Masbou in ninth for Ongetta-Rivacold.
Husqvarna rider Danny Kent was top Brit in the class after snatching a top ten finish in ninth, just one place ahead of team-mate Niklas Ajo.
The second of the regular British representatives, John McPhee, was 11th for SaxoPrint-RTG, Karel Hanika 12th, though the Red Bull rider went on to knock Bastianini off his bike on the warm down lap, Calvos’ Isaac Vinales 13th, Aspar’s Juanfran Guevara 14thwith Ambrogio rider Brad Binder claiming the final point.
British wild-card Joe Irving did not finish the first lap, nor did the experienced Efren Vazquez. Andrea Migno retired on his Mahindra debut.