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MotoGP Silverstone: Binder takes victory in tight Moto3 race

Brad Binder powered closer to the Moto3 crown with a determined fourth winning ride to finally break the race long challenges of Fracesco Bagnaia.  This latest victory, by the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, coupled with the crash of his nearest rival in the title stakes, Jorge Navarro, gives Binder an 86 points lead in the title stakes with six races remaining.   Binder’s team-mate Bo Bendsneyder took third.

Bagnaia had taken pole, his first in the series, on the Pull & Bear Aspar Mahindra, in the wet of Saturday afternoon but for the race he faced problems from the gusting winds.  He was quickly away but was soon taken by Enea Bastianini in a frantic pack at the front only to fight back quickly, re-establishing his advantage.

Joan Mir took over in second place while further back, title challenger Navarro was up to thirteenth, despite a sixth row start while John McPhee, second fastest in the morning warm-up was struggling a further five places back.


Bagnaia had the edge after a couple of laps while behind him positions were being shuffled with Bastianini and Binder duelling for second with Gabriel Rodrigo up to fourth from Mir and Bendsneyder who had started with a five place grid penalty after indiscretions in practice.

Binder eased ahead next time around while Navarro was upping his pace to be tenth but McPhee was losing ground and losing out to  Jules Danilo who eased him back into twentieth. Bagnaia was giving little away and harassing Binder despite having Bastianini on his exhaust pipe with Muir in close contention.

Bagnaia, who had given Mahindra their first pole of the four-stroke era, briefly nosed in front of Binder but the South African quickly hit back and then a third of the way into the race Bastianini slip-streamed into the lead, smartly followed by Bagnaia with Binder back to third. Mir was fourth while Navarro was on the charge to be on his tail.

There was little between the leading half dozen riders and after seven laps Navarro was running in the thick of the pack and then grabbing the led, stirring Binder onto the attack to close him down, easing Mir back into third in the process.  Binder swooped through at Farm to lead from his key rival for the crown while Fabio di Giannantonio had carved his way up to third at the expense of Bagnaia and Mir.

Navarro regained the lead while Binder was engaged in an epic dice with Bagnaia as the pack at the sharp-end grew to eight strong, running with barely a second between them.  Binder grabbed the lead, di Giannantonio moved second, Stefano Manzi came from nowhere to be third while Navarro slipped back to fifth though not for long before he was back to second and then taking Binder to be leading.

Binder was pushed back into fifth while Bagnaia led with four laps remaining though by the mile, the positions were changing with Bastianini taking over out front with Binder second from Bagnaia as Navarro found himself sixth. Bendsneyder was getting in on the act, going third. It was fast and furious with Binder leading into the penultimate lap though Bagnaia took over. Then high drama as Navarro and Andrea Migno tangled and they both went down.

Bensneyder emerged with the led on the final lap, but Binder found something extra and was able to pull something of a gap, hardly a quarter of a second, over Bagnaia as he took his fourth victory of the campaign to edge ever closer to the champion’s silverware. Bensneyder finished third from Manzi and Nicolo Bulega who set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.  di Giannantonio finshed sixth ahead of Niccolo Antonelli and Bastianini. McPhee meanwhile finished eighteenth.

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