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MotoGP Sepang: Binder bags pole in rain-hit Moto3 qualifying

Brad Binder stole pole from under the nose of Jorge Navarro after a tough qualifying session where the rain stopped play for a while.

After a dry start to the day, it began to pour shortly before qualifying began, throwing plans and strategy out of the window.

It looked to be a situation where the fast laps set early on would be the ones to hold up, but in true Moto 3 style, that wasn’t how it went.


The Leopard Racing bikes of Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir were early pacesetters, with Quartararo going to the top of the timesheets after their first lap.

But his reign at the top didn’t last long, as SKY Racing Team VR46 man Lorenzo Dalla Porta launched himself into provisional pole with a lap of 2’27.078.

However times still had a bit of tumbling to do, and it was Navarro who made the move at the perfect time. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider was the only rider able to dip into the 2’26 bracket at this point as he pulled off a 2’26.984.

A few more riders put in relatively decent times, including recently-crowned champion and Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Binder who managed to get himself on the second row just seconds before the conditions worsened.

The rain suddenly became heavier ruling conditions on track too difficult to manage and the session was red-flagged with just over 19 minutes to go. After the rain began to ease, the pit lane was re-opened and the riders headed out in the hopes of improving.

Bagnaia soon scotched the idea that no-one would be able to improve by getting quicker and quicker over three or four laps until he shocked everyone with a provisional pole-stealing 2’26.631 lap.

By now, everyone could see the track was getting better and were forced to go out and try and better their times.

Navarro was keen to win back P1, and did it with just two minutes to go as Bagnaia also continued to get faster.

As the flag fell it looked as if the Spanish rider had done enough to take pole but still on track, Binder was on one and managed to set a 2’26.268 which was enough to seal the deal.


Navarro hung onto second with Bagnaia third. Dalla Porta heads the second row after qualifying fourth ahead of Gabriel Rodrigo, who manage to keep his fifth spot despite crashing out from a fast lap at the very end.

Ongetta-Rivacold’s Niccolo Antonelli was sixth ahead of Binder’s team-mate Bo Bendsneyder with Jorge Martin eighth, Quartararo ninth and Aron Canet on the second Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda completing the top 10.

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