Binder pips Mir in Moto2 as title contenders struggle

Brad Binder pic:

Brad Binder has beaten Joan Mir to victory by 0.036s in Moto2 at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix as the two championship contenders finished outside the top 10.

Binder regained the lead at the start of the penultimate lap but nearly lost the rear of his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine through the last corner of the race, inviting pressure from Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex).

The Spaniard, who came up from 14th on the grid after a succession of bold passes, ranged up Binder on Gardner Straight but still needed a few more metres to make the overtake.

Xavi Vierge, like Binder, was a constant presence among the front-runners and made a final lap move to deny Augusto Fernandez a place on the podium at Phillip Island.

Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) and his only remaining title rival, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo), both lacked pace on their way to 12th and 11th respectively.

Pole-sitter Mattia Pasini was the initial leader but dropped his Italtrans Kalex at the Turn 4 Hairpin while running second on Lap 2 and that was that.

Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors KTM) was the next front-runner to crash out when he came in hot at the Southern Loop on Lap 7 and nearly took Vierge with him.

Remy Gardner had climbed as high as sixth from 15th on the grid in his home grand prix but carried too much speed into MG on Lap 13 and couldn’t keep his Tech3 up.

For a long period of time through the middle of the race it was Binder, Vierge, and Lorenzo Baldassarri who were the key combatants.

Mir began to show his hand with a little over five laps of the 25-lapper to run, soon followed by Fernandez, as Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer KTM) and Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) began to lose touch with the leading pack.

Baldassarri, however, ran off and fell at MG with just over two laps remaining and ultimately brought his Pons HP40 home as last of the finishers in 22nd.

Vierge had just taken over first position from the Italian but was passed by Binder at Doohan Corner on Lap 24 before Mir lunged down his inside at the Hairpin.

The move forced Vierge to stand up his Dynavolt Intact Kalex and he dropped from second to fourth, before Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) made a brave move from fifth to third at the start of the final lap.

However, Marini then ran wide at the Hairpin and Vierge re-passed Fernandez on the run to the chequered flag, where only 0.008s separated them.

Marini finished fifth from Aegerter and Marquez, the latter of whom started the day under a fitness cloud due to his unlucky crash in qualifying.

Marcel Schrotter’s Dynavolt Intact Kalex was pushed from the middle of the front row to pit lane after a problem on the grid but he rode back to ninth despite running onto the dirt at Doohan Corner on Lap 18.

Bagnaia had only qualified 16th and Oliveira 20th and their races weren’t much better.

Oliveira passed Bagnaia on Lap 4 but the Portuguese rider looked like giving up more points when he was re-passed easily by the championship leader for 12th at the Hairpin on Lap 17.

He got it back within a lap but only snipped a point from the Italian’s championship lead, which is now 36 with just 50 on offer in the two races which remain.

Australian Bryan Staring finished 21st for Tech3 as stand-in for Bo Bendsneyder.

Round 18 of the season takes place at Sepang on November 2-4.

Race results: Australian Moto2 Grand Prix

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 41 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 39:23.427
2 36 Joan MIR ESP EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex +0.036
3 97 Xavi VIERGE ESP Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex +0.949
4 40 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP Pons HP40 Kalex +0.957
5 10 Luca MARINI ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex +1.767
6 77 Dominique AEGERTER SUI Kiefer Racing KTM +2.482
7 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex +3.759
8 2 Jesko RAFFIN SUI SAG Team Kalex +4.850
9 23 Marcel SCHROTTER GER Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex +6.250
10 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA MB Conveyors – Speed Up Speed Up +7.453
11 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM +8.675
12 42 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex +9.725
13 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex +9.787
14 22 Sam LOWES GBR Swiss Innovative Investors KTM +11.209
15 57 Edgar PONS ESP MB Conveyors – Speed Up Speed Up +14.076
16 89 Khairul Idham PAWI MAL IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex +15.350
17 4 Steven ODENDAAL RSA NTS RW Racing GP NTS +15.396
18 16 Joe ROBERTS USA NTS RW Racing GP NTS +23.230
19 24 Simone CORSI ITA Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex +33.736
20 5 Andrea LOCATELLI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex +42.324
21 67 Bryan STARING AUS Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 +52.297
22 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA Pons HP40 Kalex +1:03.888
DNF 18 Xavi CARDELUS AND Marinelli Snipers Team Kalex 11 Laps
DNF 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 12 Laps
DNF 9 Jorge NAVARRO ESP Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex 17 Laps
DNF 27 Iker LECUONA ESP Swiss Innovative Investors KTM 19 Laps
DNF 21 Federico FULIGNI ITA Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex 19 Laps
DNF 95 Jules DANILO FRA Nashi Argan SAG Team Kalex 21 Laps
DNF 32 Isaac VIÑALES ESP Forward Racing Team Suter 21 Laps
DNF 54 Mattia PASINI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 24 Laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 288
2 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 252
3 Brad BINDER RSA 193
5 Joan MIR ESP 149
6 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 148
7 Marcel SCHROTTER GER 131
8 Xavi VIERGE ESP 126
9 Luca MARINI ITA 122
11 Mattia PASINI ITA 115
12 Iker LECUONA ESP 60
13 Jorge NAVARRO ESP 55
14 Sam LOWES GBR 48
15 Simone CORSI ITA 47
16 Andrea LOCATELLI ITA 41
17 Dominique AEGERTER SUI 40
18 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP 37
19 Remy GARDNER AUS 29
20 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA JPN 23
21 Romano FENATI ITA 14
22 Hector BARBERA ESP 10
23 Jesko RAFFIN SUI 9
24 Stefano MANZI ITA 8
25 Danny KENT GBR 8
26 Isaac VIÑALES ESP 7
29 Khairul Idham PAWI MAL 1
30 Edgar PONS ESP 1
31 Steven ODENDAAL RSA 1
32 Niki TUULI FIN 1
33 Thitipong WAROKORN THA 0
35 Jules DANILO FRA 0
36 Hector GARZO ESP 0
37 Lukas TULOVIC GER 0
38 Federico FULIGNI ITA 0
39 Bryan STARING AUS 0
41 Alejandro MEDINA ESP 0
42 Sheridan MORAIS POR 0
44 Corentin PEROLARI FRA 0
45 Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN MAL 0
46 Cedric TANGRE FRA 0

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