Binder sets the early benchmark in Australia

South African leads the combined times on Friday from Schrötter and Pasini

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has come out the Moto2™ blocks blazing on Friday at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to beat Marcel Schrötter’s (Dynavolt Intact GP) FP1 time by 0.087 to top the combined times. The German rider, along with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team), relying on their FP1 times to sit P2 and P3 on the combined standings.

Binder was able to top FP2 by over two tenths from Schrötter, with Iker Lecuona finishing third in the session and fourth overall after improving by over three tenths, despite a fast crash at Turn 1 – he headed to the medical centre for a checkup. Fifth overall is title race leader Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46), the Italian has his first match point this weekend and was able to improve by over two tenths in FP2 to head rival Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by a slender 0.021 at the end of play on Friday – P6 for the Portuguese rider.

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was another rider to improve his time from FP1, the Spaniard ends the day seventh overall, just over half a second off Binder’s pace. Fellow Spaniard Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40) ends up eighth fastest after crashing at Turn 4 in FP1, another good result for Kalex rider, with Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) rounding out the top ten.

FP2 saw a host of fallers in the Moto2™ class. Khairul Idham Pawi (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) collided with stand-in Tech 3 Racing rider Bryan Staring at Turn 4 – the latter will be assessed on Saturday morning to see if he’s fit to continue. Elsewhere, Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) suffered a second fall of the day at Turn 4, with Federico Fuligni (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) also going down at the hairpin – riders ok.

Meanwhile, Steven Odendaal (NTS RW Racing GP), Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2), Tetsuta Nagashima (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) all crashed – Corsi and Nagashima headed to the medical centre for checkups.

The intermediate class will be heading back on circuit at 10:55 local time (GMT +11), can anyone break Binder’s early stranglehold?

Click here for the full results!

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