For someone who started last,
this was a victory that was well-deserved as Brad Binder of Red Bull KTM Ajo
blasted through the pack of motorcycles to win the Moto3 World Championship in
Spain. This was the fourth round of the Spanish Grand Prix.
As the players were lined up
on the grid, Brad Binder was sent to the back of the grid, moving every rider
up a position on the grid. The penalty came as the result of a mapping
infringement, the South African’s KTM was found to be using non-homologated ECU
software after Qualifying.
Nicolo Bulega of Italy for Sky
Racing Team came in second followed by Francesco Bagnaia of Aspar Mahindra Team
came in third.
Bagnaia claimed his second
top-three podium finish of the four-race-old season at the Spanish Grand Prix,
keeping his head in a fearsome front-runner battle that lasted the full 23 laps
of a typically intense Moto3 race.
Bagnaia had put the Mahindra MGP3O in third place
at the opening round in Qatar. The Spanish podium return marks the start of the
European season, and confirms the confidence of the only Indian constructor in
the World Championship that the more traditional and technical European
circuits will better suit the sweet handling of the all-new 250cc racer.
With machine development still at an early
stage, Aspar Mahindra riders Bagnaia and Jorge Martin had kept the points
coming in over the next two races in Argentina and the USA; and hopes were high
for a strong result in Spain after Bagnaia qualified a strong fourth.
The 19-year-old Italian was promoted to the
front row when pole qualifier Brad Binder was put to the back.
As the race began Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) lined up
in pole ahead of Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) with Francesco Bagnaia
(Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) moved onto the front row due to Binder’s penalty. As
the lights went out, the 35-rider field lurched forward. From third Bagnaia
made a great start on his Mahindra to lead into Turn 1. Binder in the meantime,
moved his way up very quickly.
Turn 6 claimed both Fabio
Quartararo (Leopard Racing) and Jorge Martin (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) on the
first lap, both riders rushing to their bikes. Meanwhile Jorge Navarro had taken
control of the race with ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia tucking in behind him in an attempt to
break away, but fellow Italian Bulega loomed large behind them. This small
group began to quickly open a gap, a second ahead of Romano Fenati (Sky Racing
Team VR46) as they started lap three.
Lap three saw Binder move his
way to the 15th from where he started last. He closed this gap further in the
next two laps. Before even a third of the race was gone, Binder was fourth and
leading the chasing group.
As the laps were consumed, Binder
was involved in the podium battle, moving to third at Turn 1 on the 14th lap.
Not long after Binder would move into second as Bagnaia ran wide at Turn 1. The
leading group gathered together once more, but it didn’t worry the South
African as he pushed his way into the lead at Turn 6 on lap 18.
The gap simply grew as Binder
took the lead. He thus became the first ever South African to win a lightweight
class race. With his first victory, Binder extended his championship lead to 15
points over Navarro.
Jorge Navarro lost out on the
podium in the final corner, forced to settle for fourth. Jakub Kornfeil (Drive
M7 SIC Racing Team) would eventually win the battle for fifth.
Joan Mir (Leopard Racing),
Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46), Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3),
Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivacold) and Phillip Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) completed
the top ten.
Round five will commence on
May 6, 2016 at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in Le Mans.
After the race Bagnaia said, “That
was a really, really difficult race. Navarro took a really fast pace from the
start to stay in front. Because he was so fast, I tried to stay behind him and
pass him in the final lap. Finally I finished third. Congratulations to Nicolo
for a great race, and thanks to Mahindra and the team: the bike was really
good, and I am looking forward to the next races coming up.”
Equally ecstatic was Mufaddal Choonia, CEO,
Mahindra Racing, "Two podiums in the first four races of a season is the
best start for us as a constructor since we began grand prix racing. Once
again, Pecco proved that he has the talent of a champion – congratulations to
the VR46 Academy in Italy, which is producing such a lot of talent for the
Moto3 grid. Results like this really motivate us to push even harder to keep
improving. We started with our technical update plan from this Jerez GP onwards
and we will continue to bring in important updates over the next two or three
Moto3 Race Classification
2016, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, April 24, 2016
Pos. Points Rider Team
1 25 Brad Binder Red
Bull KTM Ajo
2 20 Nicolo
Bulega SKY Racing Team
3 16 Francesco
Bagnaia ASPAR Mahindra Team
4 13 Jorge
Navarro Estrella Galicia
5 11 Jakub
Kornfeil Drive M7 SIC Racing Team
6 10 Joan Mir Leopard Racing
7 9 Romano
8 33 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing
9 7 Jules
10 6 Philipp
Oettl Schedl GP
11 5 Andrea
Migno SKY Racing Team
12 4 Juanfran
Guevara RBA Racing Team
13 3 Gabriel
Rodrigo RBA Racing Team
14 2 Khairul
Idham Pawi Honda Team Asia
15 1 Tatsuki
16 Adam Norrodin Drive M7 SIC Racing Team
17 Livio Loi RW
Racing GP BV
18 Albert Arenas MRW Mahindra Aspar Team
19 Maria Herrera MH6 Laglisse
20 Davide Pizzoli Procercasa - 42 Motorsport
21 Bo Bendsneyder Red Bull KTM Ajo
22 Enzo Boulom Procercasa - 42 Motorsport
23 Fabio Spiranelli CIP-Unicom Starker
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