Red Bull Ajo KTM Moto2 rider Brad Binder held off Alex Marquez in a crash-heaving Moto2 race to claim his first race win of 2019 on his 24th birthday, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Starting from the middle of the front row, the South African got the best start of the field and despite being under immense pressure from a number of riders a different stages of the race, the South African led every lap, to secure KTM’s first Moto2 victory of 2019 at their home circuit in Austria.
Whilst Binder rode an almost perfect race, behind him there was a real battle of attrition. The first of the big incidents behind the South African saw Xavi Vierge take out pole sitter Tetsuta Nagashima after outbreaking himself, fortunately both walked away unharmed from the crash.
The next casualty was that of Australian Remy Gardener. After attempting a couple of moves to pass Binder at turn one, Gardener had the pace to run at the front, however, he ran wide at turn one from second place. Whilst rejoining the track, the SAG Racing man hit the rear end of the Marc VDS of Marquez, leaving the Aussie on the track. Whilst unlucky with the crash, it could’ve been a lot worse for Gardener who was inches away from behind hit by the following pack.
When the race looked as if it may be settling down, the final five laps look set to be battle between Binder, Marquez, Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini, with the Sky Racing VR46 rider flying through in the second half of the race.
Unfortunately for the two Italians, just as he moved past Marquez into third place, Marini wanted to go one better and in the downhill turn nine, Marini came in with such high speed, he grabbed a little too much front brake and lost the front end of his Kalex. Unfortunately for Bastianini, he was on the outside of Marini and the time and was violently thrown in the air, landing hard on his leg. ‘The Beast’ had to be stretched away after being in serious discomfort in the gravel.
With all his challengers taking each other out, Marquez settled for second place behind Binder, with Jorge Navarro and his SpeedUp rounding out the podium finishers in third place.
Lorenzo Baldassarri was fourth place, hust over a second ahead of his Pons team-mate Augusto Fernandez in fifth. Tom Luthi looked uncharacteristically loose on his Dynavolt machine in sixth, with Jorge Martin, Iker Lecuona, Marcel Schrotter and Mattia Pasini rounding out the top ten.
Andrea Locatelli was eleventh on his Italtrans machine, with front row starter Somkiat Chantra in twelfth place. Nico Bulega, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Bo Bendsneyder rounded out the point scorers.