ANOTHER WIN: Brad Binder again showed his class when he took victory at the 2016 San Marino GP. Image: AFP / Giuseppe Capace
Italy - Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder put in another masterful tactical race on the Misano circuit on Sunday (September 11) to take the Moto3 win at the MotoGP of San Marino.
The victory ensured that Binder left Italy with a staggering 106-point lead in the World Championship.
Binder's closest rival and local rider Enea Bastianini fought a tough race with the South African and took the challenge all the way to the final lap.
KTM rider Joan Mir of Spain finished third ahead of Italy’s Nicolo Bulega (KTM) in what was a tight two-way battle for the final podium place.
Although the points gap will now be difficult to bridge, Bastianini has moved into second place to be Binder’s closest rival after Spanish rider Jorge Navarro failed to finish for the third consecutive round.
Navaro remains third in the points.
LEADING THE CHARGE: Brad Binder (#41) leads the field at the 2016 San Marino GP. Image: AFP / Oli Scarff
Finely tuned racer
Binder, a racer with a cool head and finely tuned race craft commented in the finish area: “From about lap four and five, when everyone was close up behind me I just pushed and tried to keep my rhythm consistent. I saw we had broken away from the second group and I had a little look behind me and there was just Mir and Bulega behind us.
"With five laps left I let him (Bastianini) have a go at the front and we lost more than half a second a lap. So I just waited for the last lap and made sure I got it done."
READ: SA's Binder closes on title after Navarro crashes out
Binder started the race on pole, but it was Bastianini, a winner here in 2015 and riding in front of his home crowd, who was fastest off the line. Then Binder took the lead in the second lap and the two settled down into what evolved into a two-man fight for the lead. Bastianini took the advantage from time-to-time in the opening laps of the 23-lap race, but by lap six the South African controlled the action until he relinquished the lead with five to go.
Then in tactics that have become very familiar as the season progressed, Binder shadowed the Italian while be made his decision where to attack in the last lap.
READ: MotoGP - Smart strategy grants Pedrosa San Marino win
The top nine riders were only about six tenths of a second apart in the first nine laps, but Binder and Bastianini broke away as the action progressed.
Navarro’s unfortunate exit in the ninth lap put Binder’s title chances in the spotlight, but 125 points are still up for grabs from the five remaining rounds, three of which are overseas.
VICTORY! SA's Brad Binder celebrates his fifth win of the season in style. Image: AFP / Gabriel Bouys
Next Race: September 25, 2016 – MotorLand Aragon (Spain)
Top 6 results Moto3 Misano 2016
1 Brad Binder (RSA), KTM, 39:37.556 min (23 Laps)
2 Enea Bastianini (ITA), Honda, +0.262 sec
3 Joan Mir (ESP), KTM, +1.416
4 Nicolo Bulega (ITA), KTM, +1.534
5 Jakub Kornfeil (CZE), Honda, +4.278
6 Andrea Locatelli (ITA), KTM, +4.387