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18 days ago
By motogp.com

Binder sets his sights on the #BritishGP

Points leader crashes in Brno – but retains his gap at the top

Until the Czech GP at the Automotodrom Brno, Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder had only had one anomalous result in 2016, during the Dutch GP at the TT Circuit Assen. There, Binder played it safe for P12 – as he did in Germany during another wet race as he shadowed key title rival Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and crossed the line eighth. With a 67 point lead going into the Czech GP however, Binder went for broke – and crashed out of the wet and difficult race from the lead. Uninjured, the South African lost some points back to Navarro in the table – but the Spaniard only crossed the line in P10. With former Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Romano Fenati now having parted ways with the team with whom he spent his Moto3™ career to date and out of the fight, the race seems to be set as Navarro versus Binder – with new P3 man Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) over 80 points in arrears with 7 races to go.

Although the championship now seems set to be a duel, none of the key protagonists of the title fight crossed the line to impress in Brno. It was Scottish rider John McPhee (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) who took the honours in a stunning display of calm and skill in the torrential conditions, and the Brit will be high on confidence following his first ever victory in the world championship - with the boost coming just in time ahead of his home race.

The man playing catch up to Binder is Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0). Navarro has had an impressive Moto3™ career to date, and took his first win in the class at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in May in only his second season. After gaining some traction, the Valencian rider then broke his leg whilst training and was forced to sit out the Dutch GP. Riding through the pain since, until the leg is fully healed, Navarro crashed out of the Austrian GP when chasing to catch the lead group and then suffered a difficult last half of the race in Brno to eventually round out the top ten – despite having fought further up ahead of the final laps. It was a gain, however, after having been on the back foot for a number of races – and Navarro will be focused on making that gain bigger in Silverstone: the track that gave him his first pole position, last season.

While the title may seem a two-horse race, Moto3™ never proves to be the same on track. With every race a mammoth battle in the final laps as the points-scoring places are squabbled over, everything can change in an instant. With Binder in his fifth season in the class however, the South African is wise to the game – and will be looking for another 25 points in Silverstone as he closes on the crown.

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