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10 days ago
By motogp.com

Binder keeps Moto2™ title hopes alive with victory

Third place for Tom Lüthi means he’s 28 points adrift of leader Alex Marquez, with Binder just a further five points back

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder clinched his third Moto2™ win of 2019 at the Pramac Generac Australian Grand Prix to keep his Championship hopes alive as he now sits 33 points from top spot after title leader Alex Marquez (Marc VDS EG 0,0) came across the line in eighth. Rookie Jorge Martin made it a Red Bull KTM Ajo one-two, whilst Dynavolt Intact GP’s Tom Lüthi finished third to close the gap to 28 points between first and second in the Championship.

Binder bagged the holeshot from the middle of the front row of the grid and teammate Martin quickly followed him through to second as polesitter Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) slipped backwards off the line. In a dramatic opening half a lap, American Racing’s Iker Lecuona took out both Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull Tech 3 KTM) after trying to pull off an audacious move into Turn 4.

World Championship leader, Marquez, was incredibly fortunate not to get caught up in the incident that resulted in Lecuona being handed a long-lap penalty, with the newly-signed MotoGP™ rider just millimetres from the rear wheel of Marquez’s Kalex as he lunged through on the brakes.

Back at the front and the KTM duo had started to break clear from Navarro and Lüthi, who were having their own momentary fight over the final podium spot. The Swiss rider got the better of Navarro at half race distance, with the Speed Up rider seemingly suffering some rear grip issues.

Marquez, meanwhile, began to struggle with Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40), Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Temporary Forward) and Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) all finding a way past in the space of a lap, demoting the number 73 down to eighth. It would get worse for Marquez, with Lecuona fighting back through the field following his long-lap penalty.

In 10 mins: Australian GP Moto2™ highlights

Marquez was tenth at one stage before then beginning his fight back. Back at the front, Martin continued to apply the pressure on Binder but the South African was standing firm, before then finally break free from Martin and on towards victory. A sixth career Moto2™ win wrapped up on the same weekend as he was confirmed as a factory MotoGP™ rider in 2020. Seven days on from his first Moto2™ podium, Martin was back on the box and it was back-to-back podiums for Lüthi too.

Fourth went the way of Navarro, who held off a brilliant late charge from Baldassarri as the Italian closed to within half a second on the final lap. ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Remy Gardner ended up sixth at his home round after holding off Lecuona in the closing stages. Marquez came across the line in eighth, meaning he now sits 28 points ahead of Lüthi and 33 points clear of Binder with now just two rounds remaining. Manzi and Nagashima completed the Phillip Island top 10.

Top 10:
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 1.968
3. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 6.021
4. Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 8.151
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40) + 8.806
6. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 8.955
7. Iker Lecuona (monday.com American Racing) + 9.455
8. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 10.055
9. Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Temporary Forward) + 10.699
10. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 11.132

Click here for the full results!

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