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Binder smashes Moto2™ lap record by nearly a second in FP3

The South African is well and truly bringing the fight to Alex Marquez in the Moto2™ title chase

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder set an astonishing new outright Moto2™ lap record around the Sepang International Circuit and became the first man in intermediate class history to dip beneath the 2:05 barrier during FP3. The South African’s 2:04.769 was over eight-tenths of a second faster than EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Alex Marquez’s previous fastest-ever lap from 12 months ago.

The 2020 MotoGP™ rider ended FP3 0.633 seconds ahead of Marquez, who himself had set a brand-new lap record with his first flying lap of the session just five minutes into a frantic final Free Practice. Third fastest was ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Tetsuta Nagashima but the Japanese rider will be frustrated the honour of being the fastest Moto2™ rider in Malaysia isn’t his.

In the closing stages, Nagashima was two tenths up on Binder’s lap as he entered the final sector. Then, on brakes into the final corner, he came across a sea of Moto2™ riders that were all dawdling. Unsurprisingly, his attention was diverted for a split second and he was forced off-line by the sheer amount of riders cruising, which caused the front-end to fold and his charge towards the fastest-ever lap brought to an end. He also collected FlexBox HP40’s Lorenzo Baldassarri for good measure too, with both riders thankfully OK.

Fourth on the timesheets and eight tenths behind Binder was Nagashima’s ONEXOX TKKR SAG teammate Remy Gardner, with Dynavolt Intact GP’s Tom Lüthi a further 0.070 behind in fifth. After ending as Friday’s fastest man, Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) slipped back to sixth on the combined standings despite improving his lap time by a further two tenths. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) secured places in Q2 by ending seventh and eighth respectively. The top ten was completed by Iker Lecuona ( American Racing) and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP).

Crashes during the session went the way of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up) and Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46), but both managed to hold onto top 14 spots and a place in Q2. The same can’t be said for Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP40), who after a coming together with Italtrans Racing Team’s Enea Bastianini slipped back to 21st on the combined standings and will have to fight it out of Q1 later today, which kicks off at 13:30 local time (GMT+8).

Top 10:
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 2:04.769
2. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.633
3. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.697
4. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.812
5. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.882
6. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 1.006 
7. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 1.029
8. Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 1.043
9. Iker Lecuona ( American Racing) + 1.137
10. Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 1.149

Moto2™ FP3 in Malysia: Day 2 is in full swing

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