5 years ago
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Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder looked unstoppable in Austria until losing pole and the victory to Spanish rookie Joan Mir. In the championship however, the South African has no one in his way as Moto3™ heads for the Czech Republic – with his key early season rivals both taking no points at the Red Bull Ring to cut the gap. Binder is on a freight train roll of supremacy in the lighter class that began with his win from the back of the grid in Jerez, and with 8 races remaining, it’s time for his rivals to start their last offensive.
Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) took his first win in the Catalan GP and the signs looked good for the Spaniard to begin clawing back the gap to Binder. After breaking his leg and missing out on the Dutch GP however, the mountain for Navarro to climb seemed to grow – although his Red Bull KTM Ajo rival had a bad day at the TT Circuit Assen. With a brave and controlled ride through the pain barrier to finish just ahead of the South African at the Sachsenring in the wet, Navarro kept himself in play – but a DNF that put paid to a scintillating fight back from P17 on the grid in Austria has grown the gap once again. Navarro has less and less to lose as the 2016 season counts down, and will now be squarely focused on winning – nothing else. A front row qualifying and P5 in the race in 2015 are a good foundation to build on.
Romano Fenati was the talk of Moto3™ at the Red Bull Ring as the Italian was suspended from Sky Racing Team VR46 ahead of the race and took no part in Sunday’s proceedings. With the details of his future unknown, his title aspirations seem on hold at best – although he is still P3 in the table, Binder’s 20-point haul in Austria has grown the gap by a large margin as Fenati watched from the sidelines. Compatriot Francesco Bagnaia (PULL&BEAR Aspar Mahindra) is now only 3 points behind Fenati’s third place in the title, and the Assen winner will be looking to take advantage.
Moto3™ can change in a heartbeat, with a full grid of talent and so many riders capable of winning a race or locking out the podium. The more experienced on the grid such as Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3), Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing) and the recovering Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) – last year’s winner – will be pushing to stop the South African from taking another victory, with new faces such as Austrian poleman and victor Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) looking to keep making their presence known on the grid as they start to become key protagonists – in the championship as well as the races. That's added to local hero Jakub Kornfeil (DRIVE M7 SIC), who will be eager to push to the limit racing at home.
The Moto3™ machines head for the HJC Helmets Grand Prix České Republiky from a post-Austrian GP test on Monday, ready to lead the charge out on track on Friday 19th August at 9:00 local time (GMT +2).
5 years ago