Jorge Navarro has taken his second victory of the season at the Motorland Aragon Circuit, but overshadowing Navarro’s victory is Brad Binder who finished second behind the Spaniard but in the process the South African has clinched the Moto3 world championship title. Enea Bastianini rounded out a good but disappointing weekend after the Italian completed the podium in third but by finishing behind Binder ultimately gave the championship to the Red Bull KTM Ajo four races early.
Grey sky’s and cool conditions greeted the Moto3 riders as they took their place on the grid. Enea Bastianini started on pole with the Estrella Gallicia pair of Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet joining the Italian on the front row. It was Bastianini and Navarro however who got the best starts, bolting off the line and taking an early lead into turns one and two, chasing behind was Brad Binder who knew if he finished in the top two by the chequered flag he would be crowned World Champion.
The opening laps were quietly contested by Bastianini and Navarro who had built up a small lead over a group of nine riders chasing behind which included Binder who was at the head of the group slowly pulling back the dynamic pair. The duo were reeled in by the South African with fifteen laps remaining and the race had been turned back into the usual format of a Moto3 race with eleven riders battling for the win.
As the laps ticked away the riders traded places regularly each lap with no one really able to break away from the group, but that all changed with six laps to go when a series of close call overtakes resulted in the front group fracturing leaving Binder, Navarro, Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio to duel it out for victory. Hostilities resumed on the last lap and the patient Binder waited until the final straight to make his Championship winning move when the Red Bull KTM rider rocketed past Bastianini and Navarro, but was unable to hold his line going into the final corner so had to take a wider line which allowed Navarro to sneak his way past and claim his second race victory of the season but unfortunately for Bastianini the South African was able to get a strong drive towards the line which held off the Gresini rider to take second with Bastianini having to settle for third. With an 106 point advantage before the race over Bastianini rather than Navarro, Binder crossed the line as World Champion.
Fabio Di Giannantonio, who did all he could to help teammate Bastianini prevent Binder from winning the championship, while this task proved unsuccessful, the rookie was successful in claiming his fifth top five finish of the season in P4. Joan Mir, who was suffering with a fever on Friday and Saturday had an incredible race to cross the finish line in P5 ahead of the injured Jorge Martin who also put up a phenomenal race to finish in P6 with his Spanish compatriot Aron Canet in P7.
The RBA Racing Team duo of Gabriel Rodrigo and Juanfran Guevara had fantastic races in P8 and P9 respectively with flying German Phillip Oettl completing the top ten. Andrea Migno, Fabio Quartararo, John Mcphee, Niccolo Antonelli and Dutch rookie Bo Bendsneyder rounding out the rest of the point scorers.
With the Championship now done and dusted with four races remaining, we head to the fly away rounds in three weeks hoping for some more modern Moto3 classics, as for Binder he goes down in history not only as only the third ever South African World Champion, but the undisputed King of Moto3 in 2016.
Image Via: JAIME REINA/AFP PHOTO