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11 days ago
By motogp.com

Three new Moto3™ winners before Assen

Pawi, Binder and Navarro have already written their names in the history books by taking sensational first wins in the lightweight class.

Each year the Moto3™ World Championship detects new talent, riders who catch the eye of team managers with brilliant first wins. In 2015 four new faces stepped into the winners circle for the first time: Miguel Oliveira, Enea Bastianini, Niccolo Antonelli and Livio Loi.

Already just seven races into the 2016 season three brand new riders have triumphed: Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda Team Asia) taking victory in three quite different races.

Highlights: Binder charges from back of grid for maiden win

Binder had to wait 79 races before climbing on to the top step of the podium at the Jerez circuit. The race looked set to be a disaster for the South African who had qualified in second but was sent to the back of the grid due to non-compliant ECU software. Binder did the almost unthinkable and recovered from the back of the grid to win by 3.3 seconds from Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46). It was one of the most sensational Moto3™ races in history, an extremely impressive way to announce yourself as a Grand Prix winner.

Never had a South African accomplished such a feat in the 125cc/Moto3™classes, Kork Ballington, Alan North and Jon Ekerold the only South African winners but in the 250cc and 350cc classes. The momentum continued for Binder into France and Italy before Jorge Navarro became a roadblock in Barcelona. Across all three classes, Binder is the only rider to have been on the podium in the first seven races and he holds a strong 44-point lead going into Assen.

Highlights: Navarro battles to first Moto3™ victory

Rookie of the year in 2015 with seventh place overall, Jorge Navarro also had to wait for his first win. The Valencia native, who took four podiums in the last five races, was able to take to the top step for the first time in Barcelona, his 36th race on the world stage. Starting from the front row, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider fought at the front from the start before opening up a small gap in the final few laps while Binder was pushed off track after contact with Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team).

Navarro looked to be gathering momentum to face Binder in the second half of the season but the Spaniard then broke his tibia and fibula during a training session, an injury that could cost him the championship.

Highlights: Pawi claims first GP win for Malaysia

Many may have expected Binder and Navarro to win but almost no one saw Khairul Idham Pawi coming. The Malaysian showed his undeniable talent when he balanced slick tyres on the wet track of the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. Fourth on the grid, the Honda Team Asia rider escaped without issue and would cross the line 26 seconds ahead of second place Jorge Navarro.

Pawi’s win came in just his third appearance and was Malaysia’s first ever win. Since then he has had trouble scoring points, still clearly in his rookie season. The Italian GP saw promise, running in the top ten before falling. Unfortunately the Catalan GP told a similar story, Pawi battling for the top five before falling.

Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) remains the man to beat in the ‘time to first win’ category. The Italian won in just his second Grand Prix, cruising to victory at the Jerez GP in 2012. Maverick Viñales won his fourth ever race, at Le Mans in 2011 in the 125cc class. Meanwhile Marc Marquez had to wait 33 races before he took to the top step of the podium.

Relive the last lap of the Moto3™ race in Barcelona.

Full last lap from nail-biting Moto3™ race